Classic Summer Pudding

Nothing says summertime quite like the classic seasonal dessert that is Summer Pudding. This mountain of juicy ripe fruit and sweet syrup looks spectacular yet is quite simple to make. No unusual ingredients are required, simply white bread, fruit and sugar but the end result is far greater than the sum of its parts!

Whole summer pudding.

Whole summer pudding.

Sugar, bread and berries: summer pudding ingredients.

Summer pudding ingredients.

Any mixture of beautiful soft fruits and berries can be used. In this recipe it’s the classic redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries but loganberries, tayberries and blackberries could also be included or used instead. Vary the mixture depending on what you have available.

Visiting a PYO farm offers better value, especially when you need a decent quantity of fruit. The berries will be picked ripe too, allowing you to enjoy them at their best. You can also use frozen fruit that has been defrosted to make it later in the year. The recipe is also great for using up old bread that will otherwise be heading for the food recycling or out for the birds. Some recipes use Madeira cake or Victoria sponge in place of the bread – very sweet and decadent but absolutely delicious! Either can be used in this recipe in the same way.

In my next guest post, the third in a series about soft fruits, I’ll be looking at how to preserve the bounty of summer to enjoy later in the year!


Summer Pudding
 
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
 
Dig out your Christmas pudding basin from the back of the cupboard and enjoy this taste of summer; a slice served with whipped cream eaten outside on a warm summer's evening - what could be better?
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 500g/1lb 2oz granulated sugar
  • 250g/9oz redcurrants
  • 250g/9oz blackcurrants (both de-stalked)
  • 200g/7oz raspberries
  • 300g/10.5oz strawberries (halve any large ones otherwise leave whole)
  • 1 medium sized sliced or whole white loaf - at least a day old
  • whipped cream to serve
Instructions
  1. Line a pudding basin with clingfilm, for ease when turning the pudding out later on.
  2. Slice the bread if unsliced - you want reasonably sized slices at least 1cm/1.5in thick
  3. Cut off the crusts and lay one slice at the bottom (trim to fit), then four slices north, south, east and west. Trim another two into triangles to fit in the gaps between them. Keep a slice whole for the top.
  4. Dissolve the sugar in 725ml/1.5pt of water. Bring to the boil and add the redcurrants and blackcurrants.
  5. Simmer for two minutes till they soften, then add the raspberries and strawberries. Turn off the heat.
  6. Ladle the fruit and juice into the pudding. When you get to about halfway full, switch to a slotted spoon otherwise there will be too much liquid.
  7. Resist the urge to overfill! Place a slice of bread on the top and fill in the gaps with triangles of bread.
  8. Wrap the clingfilm over tightly and put a plate on top. Weight down with something heavy and leave to cool.
  9. Place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. It will keep for a few days happily in the fridge.
  10. To serve carefully unwrap and turn out onto a plate. You may need a hand as it will be quite heavy if using a ceramic basin, as well as slippery with the juice.
  11. Serve a generous slice with whipped cream - enjoy!
Notes
This recipe uses one large 1.8l/3pt pudding basin but if using a smaller one just measure the volume and reduce the ingredients by a third or a by half.
Cooking time refers to chilling time in the fridge.

 

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About Caroline Rye

A graduate of Ballymaloe Cookery School, I now live in Edinburgh cooking, writing and campaigning for real food, and blogging at http://lonelyonasunday.blogspot.co.uk/.

One Comment

  1. Hi there Caroline, this looks like a lovely pudding and a lovely photograph too.

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