Fantastically Fruity Pudding

Not sure if summer is coming to an end or not – as I type the forecast today is 30 degrees and the sun is already beating down. But next week, we are apparently back to grey skies and drizzle. Worst still, I have already spotted, in late August, quite a few yellow leaves dropping from our trees. So, while we still have the odd summer day, I thought a Raymond Blanc recipe that makes the most of wonderfully sweet fragrant fruits would be in order.

Fantastically Fruity PuddingFantastically Fruity Pudding

Ingredients serves 4
250ml Sauternes or dessert wine
250ml cabernet sauvignon or dry red wine
50g caster sugar
vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
12 mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus sprigs to serve
6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
200g fresh raspberries
½ Charentais melon, scooped into 12 balls
200g fresh ripe strawberries, halved and quartered
50g wild strawberries (optional)
100ml chilled pink Champagne, to serve

How to prepare
In a large saucepan, bring the two wines, sugar and vanilla pod to the boil. Put the mint and basil in the centre of a small piece of muslin and tie with string to make a bag, then add to the pan with a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
Remove from heat and leave to come to room temperature. Remove muslin bag, add raspberries and the melon balls. Chill for at least 4 hrs.
About 2 hrs before you intend to serve the fruits, add the strawberries and wild strawberries, if using, to the syrup. Serve in a large serving bowl or four individual bowls. Pour about 2 tbsp of the pink Champagne over just before serving.