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Summer pudding recipe

Summer pudding recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Fruit desserts
  • Berry desserts
  • Redcurrant desserts

What an amazing dish the British summer pudding is – simplicity itself, and as perfect as a midsummer's day. The peaches or nectarines add a slightly different dimension to this version, a marvellous way of eating a nice large portion of ripe fresh fruit, not cooked at all so as to retain all its nutrients.

26 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) mixed summer fruit (raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants, sliced strawberries)
  • 2 ripe nectarines, stoned and diced
  • 3 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) cranberry juice
  • 8 thin slices white bread, about 200 g (7 oz) in total, preferably 1–2 days old
  • To serve (optional)
  • reduced-fat crème fraîche

MethodPrep:10hr20min ›Ready in:10hr20min

  1. Crush the different types of fruit individually, to be sure all the skins are broken and the fruit is pulpy. Put all the fruit in a large bowl with the sugar and cranberry juice and stir to mix. Leave to macerate for 2 hours.
  2. Cut the crusts from the bread and cut the slices into strips or triangles. Fit the bread into a 1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin to line the bottom and sides, reserving enough bread to cover the top. Fill in any gaps with small bits of bread.
  3. Reserve 3–4 tbsp of juice from the mixed fruit, then gently pour the fruit mixture into the bread-lined pudding basin. Top with the remaining bread. Cover with a plate that just fits inside the rim of the basin, setting it directly on top of the bread, and then place a heavy weight such as a can of food on top. Place the basin in the fridge to chill for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, turn the pudding out onto a serving dish. Use the reserved fruit juice to brush or pour over any parts of the bread that have not been coloured. Serve with crème fraîche, if liked.

Some more ideas

Use an enriched bread such as Jewish challah or brioche instead of white bread. * For an autumn pudding, substitute raisin bread for white bread, and instead of the summer fruits and peaches, use 2 large dessert apples, diced, 2 pears, diced, 30 g (1 oz) sultanas, 30 g (1 oz) dried cranberries and 50 g (1¾ oz) dried apricots, chopped. Put the fruit in a saucepan with 300 ml (10 fl oz) apple juice and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then poach gently for 5–7 minutes or until the apples are tender. Pour into the bread-lined mould and weight as in step 3. Serve decorated with diced sharon fruit and/or a scattering of pomegranate seeds, if you like.

Plus points

Raspberries, redcurrants and strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C (blueberries are a good source). This vitamin is not only an antioxidant with an important role in preventing heart disease, but is also essential for good wound-healing and resistance to infections. * Low in fat and high in carbohydrate and fibre, this is a delicious dessert in a diet for a healthy heart.

Each serving provides

C * folate, niacin

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Made this with strrawberries, blueberries and blackberries.Came out just like the picture, delicious. Will definitely make this again-18 Sep 2015

Easy English Summer Pudding

When you have an abundance of summer berry fruits on your hands, one of the best ways of serving them is in an English Summer Pudding. The recipe is so easy, and the results are so delicious, you won't be able to resist. It contains all the tastes of summer in one dish!

Which berries you use is up to you. Soft summer fruits suitable for Summer Pudding must have a rich, strong, color and flavor. Great berries to use include raspberries, strawberries, red and blackcurrants, damsons, and blackberries. The berry juice is also very important, so make sure your berries are ripe. You can also use a mix of frozen berries too, just make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before you use them.

Use a good loaf of bread for the pudding. Cheap, sliced bread gives totally the wrong texture.

Summer Pudding

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 25 M
  • Enough for four people

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 pound raspberries
  • 1/4 pound red currants
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 loaf sliced white bread, day old
  • Heavy cream, if desired


To make the summer pudding recipe, heat the raspberries, red currants, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not add any water. Cook them only 2 or 3 minutes, and leave to cool.

Line a fairly deep round dish (a soufflé dish would suffice) with slices of one-day-old white bread with the crust removed. The bread should be of the thickness usual for sandwiches. The dish must be completely lined, bottom and sides, with no space through which the juice can escape. Fill up with the fruit, but reserve some of the juice. Cover the fruit with a complete layer of bread. On top put a plate which fits exactly inside the dish, and on the plate put a 2- to 3-pound weight. Leave overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve turn the pudding out onto a dish (not a completely flat one, or the juice will overflow) and pour over it the reserved juice. Heavy cream is usually served with summer pudding, but it’s almost more delicious without.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was a pleasant surprise for a dessert. I’ve often seen it, but never made it — I always assumed I wouldn’t really care for it, even though I’m a berry lover through and through. My husband, being British, really enjoyed it, as it brought back fond childhood memories for him. It has the right blend of sweet and tart, which I always appreciate in a dessert. Using bread instead of cake or pastry really tones down the sweetness.

This had a nice amount of juice left over, even after the juice turned the bread a lovely berry red, so I drizzled that over the top. I omitted the cream and found the dessert to be perfect on it’s own. A wonderful no-bake dessert for a hot summer day.

#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


As a Brit, I’ve never seen summer pudding made with only redcurrants and raspberries, so I question the authenticity too! It’s also always made in a pudding basin (as shown in the photo) a souffle dish-shaped pudding sounds peculiar. In the end though, it’s a delicious mess of summer fruit and juice-soaked bread, so it doesn’t really matter what it looks like!

We’re actually quite relieved to hear that, Briony, both the part about the proper constituents and the proper receptacle. Many thanks!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • 3 (3-oz.) packages soft ladyfingers
  • Garnishes: fresh berries, fresh mint sprigs

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a large, heavy stainless steel saucepan let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or just until berries begin to break down and release their juices. Remove from heat, and stir in orange liqueur cool 20 minutes.

Line a 2-qt. soufflé dish with plastic wrap. Spoon 1 cup berry mixture into prepared dish, spreading to cover bottom. Arrange ladyfingers in a single layer on berry mixture, pressing together and trimming as needed to fit snugly and cover berry mixture. Repeat layers twice, dividing remaining berry mixture evenly between layers.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place a small plate (approximately the same diameter as the inside of the dish) directly on top. Place 2 or 3 heavy cans on plate, and chill 12 hours. Unmold pudding onto a serving plate.

Perfect summer pudding

O ne of the things that exasperates me about the insatiable demand for 'new' recipes is that it doesn't give anyone time to get something well and truly right. I see nothing wrong with tinkering with an idea until it is as good as it can be in fact, I see everything right about it.

I just don't understand the desire (or is it desperation?) for snatching up a new recipe, rushing through it, then dashing off for the next cookery magazine, book or television programme for the next new thing. What is it exactly that these cooks are frantically searching for? Wouldn't it be better to find a dish that they know and like and then to work at it until it is absolutely to their taste?

There is much, much pleasure to be had in honing a dish to perfection. To get to know the little nuances and pitfalls, the tricks and the intimacies of a recipe, and add your own signature if you wish. If this is a search for perfection - and I suppose it is - then we have to work out the crux of it all: the real reason why an idea appeals to us. We need to identify the heart and soul of a dish and get that part of it right. In some ways you can get this from a well-written recipe. But the truth is that there is more to it than that. Some of it is intuition, a gut feeling that you have understood what I like to call the 'essence' of the thing. The part of something that really rings your bell. If you like, the whole point. Identify, and then pursue.

By identifying that point, you will know what you are aiming for and why you are cooking something. I would argue that in a risotto, say, it is not just the grains of stock-saturated rice that are the essence of the dish, but the way in which the limpid stock holds those wet grains together on your fork. (Which is why vegetarian stock never makes quite the perfect risotto, because it lacks the gelatinous quality of chicken stock.) In a piece of roast pork it is the contrast between the sweet, rich meat, succulent fat and crisp, salty crackling. And in a chocolate brownie it is (for me, at least) the contrast between the crisp crust and the moist, but not wet, cake beneath.

I could go on, and indeed I will - at least once a month over the next few weeks.

We are not talking about textbook perfect here, as in the arrogant and often misguided notion of how something 'should be' (usually by self-styled tin gods of the cookery world, who are hiding their ignorance behind a smokescreen of arrogance), but in that it will give you as much pleasure as you can possibly get from it. So, not only have you had the pleasure of sniffing, stirring and tasting, but the end result is as near to perfection as you can ever imagine it being. You have found and understood the very reason for that dish, that recipe. Now that is what you call cooking.

And so it is with summer pudding, that rough'n'tumble of raspberries, currants and bread. I rank it with Christmas pudding as one of the best recipes ever, except, of course, that the weather is usually better. It matters not one jot if you make it in a shallow dish, a pudding basin or, charming this, in individual china dishes. What is important - no, essential - is the juice and how the bread soaks it up. This is your 'essence'. The crux of the matter.

We must work out our own preference for the ratio of the three different berries.

I like a proportion of blackcurrants, a tart counter to the ever-sweeter varieties of raspberries and redcurrants. Purists will not accept a blackcurrant in a summer pudding. I add them for their glorious colour and for the extra snap of tartness that they bring. The sweet of tooth can leave them out. Then again, too many blackcurrants will overpower the raspberries. My perfect berry count is 150g blackcurrants to 250g of redcurrants to 500g raspberries.

Historically, this pudding was made with a raspberry to redcurrant ratio of 4:1. (The idea goes back to the 18th century and was a favourite of health spas, the bread being

a substitute for butter-rich pastry.) Purists will stick to this. But our tastes move on, and this balance is now considered a little insipid a few blackcurrants turn up in most versions now.

My suspicions about the wisdom of solemnly following a recipe were once again founded this week. The currants I bought for my summer pudding from a large supermarket chain looked bright and fresh, but were flabby and flat-tasting, and sweet rather than sharp. To have followed a recipe blindly, 'yes, sir, no sir,' would have resulted in a sweet and flat-tasting pud. Luckily, I tasted the fruit and added less sugar by way of compensation - though, ideally, I would have preferred tarter currants. The offending redcurrants, by the way, were Rovada, the oversweet raspberries Tulameen.

The bread is more than just a case to hold the fruit. Its texture is crucial to the whole pudding.

Without it you would have nothing more than a compôte - stewed fruit. Soft, 'plastic' bread turns slimy rather than moist. God knows why it turns so nasty - it's like eating a soggy J cloth. No, the bread needs enough body to hold its shape should you decide to turn your dome of fruit out, and the closeness of texture not to turn to pink pap.

A well-made white sandwich loaf will work.

Dense bread such as sourdough is often too tight to soak up the juice. Brown bread is disgusting in this instance. Come to think of it, brown bread is disgusting in most instances.

The centre of attention, the difference between a good pud and one that is utterly sublime is the juice that soaks into the bread. It is this - its flavour and sheer abundance - that will make or break this dessert. It does need sweetening though, so a shake of sugar over the berries is essential. I use 3 tablespoons for fruit of normal tartness. This doesn't sound a lot, I know, but you will have, at the table, the tempering effect of the cream.

A jug of cream is a necessary part of a summer pudding. Don't even think of offering crème fraîche, the pudding is tangy enough as it is. You want pouring cream, not whipped or extra thick, but good old-fashioned double cream. And preferably unpasteurised. You will need a 1l pudding basin.

850g mixed raspberries and currants, with an emphasis on raspberries
7-8 slices firm, good quality white bread
3 tbsps white sugar
3 tbsps water
cream to serve

Sort through the fruit, tenderly, picking out any that are unripe or mouldy. There's nearly always a few. Pull the currants from their stems then put them, with the raspberries, in a stainless-steel saucepan over a low heat. Taste the fruit for sweetness and add sugar accordingly. For normal, sweet raspberries and slightly tart currants, I add 3 tablespoons or so of sugar. Sometimes you may need slightly less or more. Use your own judgment, bearing in mind that the finished pudding should have a bit of sharpness to it. Pour in a little water, a couple of tablespoons will do, then bring it to the boil.

The currants will start to burst and give out their juice. They need no longer than three or four minutes at a cautious simmer. The fruit should be shiny and there should be much magenta juice in the pan. Turn off the heat.

Slice the bread thickly. Each slice should be about as thick as your little finger. (Thinner if you are making several smaller puddings in individual moulds.) Cut the crusts off the bread. Set one piece aside, then cut the rest into 'soldiers', that is, each slice of bread into three long fingers. Using a glass or cup as a template, cut a disc of bread from the reserved slice and push it into the bottom of the pudding basin.

Line the inside of the basin with the strips of bread, pushing them together snugly so that no fruit can escape, and keeping a few strips for the top. Fill the bread-lined basin with the fruit and its juice - it should come almost to the rim. Lay the remaining bread on top of the fruit, tearing and patching where necessary, so no fruit is showing.

Put the basin in a shallow dish or bowl to catch any juice, then lay a flat plate or small tray on top with a heavy weight to squash the fruit down. Some juice may escape, but most will soak into the bread. Leave overnight in the fridge. (You may have to remove a shelf depending on how deep your fridge shelves are.)

Remove the weights, slide a palette knife around the edge, pushing carefully down between bread and basin so as not to tear the bread. Put a plate on top, and then, holding the plate in place, turn quickly upside down and shake firmly to dislodge the pud. It should slide out and sit proud. Pass a jug of cream around - it is an essential part of the pudding. Serves 6-8.

Summer Pudding

Line the bottom of a 2- to 2 1/2-quart bowl with bread, tearing bread as necessary to completely cover bottom without overlapping. Halve remaining bread slices lengthwise. Line sides of bowl with overlapping bread slices (reserve some for covering the top) trim bread flush with top of bowl.

Combine berries, sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, gently stirring a few times, just until berries start to soften and currants begin to burst and release their juices. Do not let mixture boil. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes.

Pour berry mixture into bowl and cover with a single layer of remaining bread slices, tearing bread as necessary to fill in any gaps. Place a round dish or pan slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl on top of bread, and press down on plate until juices rise to surface. Place a heavy can or other weight on top of plate. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Remove weighted plate from basin. Run a thin knife around edge between bread and bowl. Invert onto a rimmed serving plate and lift bowl to release pudding. Stir together mascarpone and cream in a bowl until smooth, then whisk to soft peaks. Cut pudding into wedges and serve with whipped mascarpone cream.

Summer Pudding with Rum Whipped Cream

Combine the strawberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water in a large saucepan and cook uncovered over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the raspberries and all the blueberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a simmer, and simmer for a minute. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise.

Slice the bread in 1/2-inch-thick slices and remove the crusts. In the bottom of a 7-1/2 inch round by 3-inch high soufflé or baking dish, ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooked berry mixture. Arrange slices of bread in a pattern (this will become the top when it’s unmolded) and then add more berry mixture to saturate. Continue adding bread, cutting it to fit the mold, and berries. Finish with bread and cooked berries, using all of the fruit and syrup.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the pudding. Find a plate approximately the same diameter as the inside of the mold and place it on top. Weight the mold with a heavy can and refrigerate. Remove the weight after 6 to 8 hours. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, run a knife around the outside of the pudding and unmold it upside down onto a serving plate. Serve in wedges with rum whipped cream.

Rum Whipped Cream (Serves 8)

  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla, and rum. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Serve cold.

Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Almost Summer Pudding

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This is called “Almost Summer Pudding” because we’re making it with the first berries of spring. As in the beloved British dessert known as summer pudding, the berries marry up with bread and liqueur for a sweet, floral, glorious treat. The brioche in this pudding doesn’t come out as dark red as the bread in other summer puddings, but rest assured that it is soaked thoroughly and the end result would do any Brit proud.

Game plan: Be sure to start this recipe a day in advance, as the pudding needs to rest 24 hours before serving.

This recipe was featured as part of both our Resurrecting Easter Brunch menu and our Picnic Recipes photo gallery.


  1. 1 Combine berries, sugar, and orange liqueur in a large, nonreactive bowl and stir to coat the fruit. Let rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, so the mixture releases its juices.
  2. 2 Meanwhile, butter a 1-quart bowl and line it with enough plastic wrap so at least 6 inches is hanging off on all sides. Press the plastic wrap into the bowl so there are no air bubbles.
  3. 3 Line the inside of the prepared bowl with brioche slices, cutting them as necessary to fit snugly. (You may have to overlap the slices, and you should have a few left over to cover berries.) Set aside.
  4. 4 Once the fruit has rested, pour the berries and juices into the brioche-lined bowl, pressing down so they all fit. Top with remaining brioche, taking care to cover exposed berries. Press firmly on the top bread pieces to flatten them and push the juices into the bread. Cover the bread with the overhanging plastic wrap and place a plate (small enough to fit just inside the bowl) on top. Put 6 to 7 pounds of weight on the plate (large cans of tomatoes work well), and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  5. 5 To unmold the pudding, remove the plate, unwrap the plastic, invert the bowl onto a serving platter, and lift off the bowl. Remove the plastic wrap and serve the pudding sliced, with whipped cream and additional berries if desired.

Beverage pairing: Doisy-Daëne Sauternes, France. Something sweet and racy will be nice with this dessert, and any number of sweet wines could work. In this case, a good choice is Sauternes. Its peach, pear, and apricot flavors will complement but not mimic the berries, and it has the weight and richness to hold up against the cream.


I've made this several times, and it got rave reviews. I used Challah bread and followed the advice to reserve some juice for covering any white patches on the bread. It becomes a rich magenta color and actually looks better than the photo indicates. I used a rather deep bowl, which created a nice shape, and served it with vanilla ice cream.

I was short on time so I cubed the bread and just mixed everything together in a baking dish instead of layering. The presentation was more like bread pudding, not elegant like the picture shows, but it seemed a whole lot easier, and there were no issues with dried pieces of bread. Fresh whipped cream also adds a lot.

Heaven. An excellent way to celebrate berry season. From breakfast with yogurt - to late night patio. Make sure to save some excess juice for finishing.

Yummy and so simple! It is true that the sauce didn't make it through all of the bread, but I saved some on the side for that purpose (thanks for the heads up, other reviewers). Next time I'll drizzle the sauce along the sides of the bread bowl before adding the berries. This is definitely becoming a mainstay for hot summers.

I've made similar recipes to this in the past. One I particularly enjoyed used pound cake instead of plain bread, so I tried that and it worked very well, although reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup to offset the sweetness of the pound cake.

I expected this dessert to be wonderful but instead it tasted like a plain jelly sandwich. I suppose if you like jelly sandwiches you'll like this recipe.

This is a great recipe - the only advice I would give is to save some of the juice to pour over once the pudding has been turned out to cover over any white spots.

This is an excellent recipe! It is easy to make, tastes like heaven and offers a beautiful presentation. The only change I would suggest is pouring a little bit of the juices to the bottom of the bowl before lining the bowl with the bread.

This recipe is outstanding. It is very easy to make and offers a beautiful presentation. I used Challah for the white bread and it tasted great. The only change I would recommend is adding a little of the reserved juices to the bottom of the bowl before lining the bowl with the bread.