“A Summer Fruit Pudding”
This classic British dessert is just the thing to make for the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend. I do hope the irony of this is not lost on you.
All you need is some fresh berries….blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries…any combination of these summer berries and a loaf of day old bread. There is no baking so no heating up the kitchen. It is easy to make, a beauty when finished and the taste is like biting into “summer”…very refreshing, not overly sweet and served with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream or whipped mascarpone cheese.
The most important part is allowing the fresh berries to macerate with sugar for about 30 minutes ahead of time.
Choose a bread with some body that is a day or two old and just a bit dried out. I used a Brioche but a loaf of plain old white bread works just as well, as does Angel Food Cake.
After the berries have macerated they are slowing boiled for a few minutes with some water until the berries release most of their juice and get a bit softened. This takes about 5-8 minutes on a low boil.
I used a glass mixing bowl lined with plastic wrap for the mold, but a metal bowl or plastic will be fine. Later when the pudding is chilled it will be easy to turn it upside down on a serving platter.
While I am slicing the bread (you can make with or without the crust), and lining the bowl I let the berries drain very well so there is about 3 cups of berry juice to about 4 to six cups of softened sugared fruit.
Dipping the slices of bread and lining the bowl comes next.
Don’t you just love that color? The berries are then scraped into the center of the bread, topped with a couple of more soaked bread slices and covered with a sheet of plastic.
The pudding needs to have pressure on it so that the bread and the berries become “one”. I do this first with my hands and then place a plate with a heavy can sitting on top while the pudding is chilling for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Here is the turned out, chilled, a firm “pudding” (what the British pretty call dessert for the most part….as in “What’s for pudding?”) topped with additional berries and superfine sugar (caster sugar). I served this with a dollop of whipped mascarpone.
For a dinner party I recently made this again but this time I used an Angel Food Cake instead of bread. As the cake was already sweet I used less sugar on the berries. This version may be my new favorite. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream. Another variation on the theme. Maybe next time I will try pound cake?
Traditionally this “pudding” was served as a healthy alternative to heavy sugary desserts at health spas in England. If you give this a try let me know how your version turns out.
Summer Berry Pudding
- 6 cups of mixed summer berries, rinsed & drained + 1/2 cup mixed for garnishing
- 1/3 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar) + extra for garnishing
- 1 loaf of day old bread (White, Brioche or you can use an Angel Food Cake)
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
- Toss 6 cups of berries with 1/2 cup sugar. Leave to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Add berries & juice to a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Turn to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile cut bread into approximately 1″ slices. You can remove the crust or not.
- Line a glass, metal or plastic round mixing bowl (about a 2 qt bowl) with plastic wrap allowing it to hang over the edges of the bowl completely covering the inside.
- Pour berries & juice through a strainer sitting over a bowl. Let drain for 10 minutes.
- You will need about 3-4 cups of juice. Add more water if need be.
- Gently dip each slice of bread into the juice lining the bowl completely with the soaked bread. Place one piece of bread in the bottom of the bowl to cover the center.
- Dump the berries in the middle of the bowl & cover them with 2 more slices of juice soaked bread. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, pressing down with your hands to make sure all the bread is soaked.
- Place a saucer or small plate over the plastic wrap and top with a heavy can to press the mixture together over night in the refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, remove the top sheet of plastic wrap & turn the bowl upside down onto a serving plate. Remove the bowl & plastic wrap from the summer pudding.
- Garnish with additional fresh berries and a generous dusting of sugar.
- Use a spoon to scoop out servings and add a scoop of ice cream or whipped mascarpone if desired. Whipped cream would be good as well.
Notes: You can make this with sliced Angel Food Cake as well for an interesting twist. Try adding some peaches to the berries or plums. Tip: If you do not have caster sugar…which is just a finer granulated sugar..you can make quickly by putting regular granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Very easy to do.
recipe and photos by Teresa Blackburn foodonfifth.com teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
32 thoughts on “Borrowed from the British “A Summer Fruit Pudding” for the Fourth of July”
This looks like a refreshing and easy to make summer desert.
It is just the easiest thing ever with very few ingredients and I am sure it could be made using any combination of summer fruit and would be equally as good. Thanks for stopping by.
I’ve never seen it made with a brioche……an epiphany..thanks
It is funny about the Brioche and a long story, but to make it short….I did a version of this recipe for a British chef for a magazine article here in the states a few years ago and he used Brioche. So that is what I did, but I also have had it with just regular bread and as you saw Angel Food Cake. All equally good. Thanks for coming by to see me.
A favourite of mine and reading your recipe and seeing your great photos I know the answer to what’s for pud would be very happily answered. And I will try this soon !
Claire I spent a long summer going to school in England…the University of East Anglia many years ago and I remember having this dessert when we were invited to a local gentries home for dinner. It was so good and unusual and I have always remembered how simple and beautiful it was. A good pud!
Uh, I love this recipe, Teresa! Sounds quite easy but sooo much like summer as well! All those berries, I cannot get enough of them. The strawberry sellers closed their shops already round here. I’m fearing the day when I realize I’ll have to wait another year to buy some. So I should try your recipe before that. 🙂
Oh, and this brioche reminds me of Paris… 🙂
Yes Tina we are at the end of our local strawberries as well. This dessert was my last hurrah using them for this summer. Fleeting berry time, but oh so good while they last.
Reblogged this on Brie and Basil and commented:
Just a few of my favorite things: irony, berries and bread used in dessert.
Thanks so much for the reblog and for the nice comments.
love that this beauty is a no bake! leave it to the Brits to enliven the 4th with pudding
Well Nance it is quite apropro to make this for the 4th I think.
This is a truly sublime dessert, and gorgeous!
I am so happy you got to try out my Angel Cake version at our fun dinner at your house. By the Way those were the best burgers I have had in years! Thanks.
Very pretty. Love seeing a new recipes like this. Gets the mind working on the possibilities. Pound cake is another great idea!
Thanks Hostess At Heart, let me know if you come up with a version of your own and how it turns out.
so colorful, and so yummy looking! must try this one.
It is so good and light and no cooking on hot July days. Thanks so much.
berry, berry nice!
yes berry, berry!
I adored it since the first photo! Love its simplicity and the refreshing taste that it has to have. I’d like to try to make it again… thanks for borrowing and sharing!
You bet! I love to experiment in the kitchen and play around with recipes from all over the world. But the British can be beat for pudding.
I meant “the British can’t be beat for pudding!”
I can tell this is delicious. Both angel food cake and brioche look good to me. Mascarpone, whipped cream, ice cream… Yum!
It is simply hard to mess this one up isn’t it? All the right ingredients and a simple as can be recipe and viola! The essence of summer for dessert. Thanks for stopping by Denise.
Looks amazing and really beautiful colors!
I so appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I will scoop over to your site to see what’s up.
I like the idea of using angel food cake for the summer fruit pudding. I think I will be the same.
Karen it is always so nice to hear from you. Thanks and the angel food was really, really fine.
Gorgeous photography! Love it