Summer Pudding


  • 8 slices of white bread (or possibly more dependent upon basin shape and size), crusts removed.
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 7 – 800g soft fruit (mixed) eg blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, tummelberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants
  • Cream, Creme Fraiche or Yogurt to serve

This is based on a friend’s recipe and as is my wont is not very purist in its method. However, it works and is yummy, and more to the point doesn’t collapse!

The recipe might seem a bit involved, but honestly and truly it only takes minutes to put together and can then be left in the fridge overnight so that for parties it is only a matter of tipping it out and eating it.

Prepare the sliced bread by removing the crusts. Bread that is a little stale is ideal for this but not essential.

Put the fruit and sugar in to a large pan and stir to coat the fruit with the sugar. Place the pan onto a very low heat and gently bring to simmering point, stirring all the time until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer gently for a few minutes to poach the fruit until it is soft.

Pour the fruit into a sieve over a bowl so that the drained juice is retained. Any left over once you have made the pudding can be used as a sauce for serving.

Take a 2 pint pudding basin, or similar bowl, and lightly grease the sides with an invisible smear of butter. Put a little square of grease proof paper in the very bottom of the basin to help when you tip the pudding out. You can now line it with the bread slices.

I like to make sure that one side of the bread is soaked with juice. Thus, I put some juice on to a plate or flat dish and then place each slice of bread, on one side only, into the juice before fitting it into the basin. Place the juiced side of the bread against the wall of your basin, starting with one piece on the bottom of the basin.

I then place whole pieces of bread round the basin, making sure to overlap well with the bottom piece of bread. This will leave triangular shaped gaps between each piece which I then fill in at the end. It is important to make sure the pieces overlap well so that they do not separate when you finally tip the pudding out of the basin to serve.

Once the basin is completely lined tip the drained fruit into it and make sure it has packed in well. I then add a little of the juice if I think it looks a little too well drained, but not too much!

To seal the pudding off place un-soaked bread over the top of the fruit so that again the seam between the wall of bread and this final layer across the top will also seal properly. I then pour a little juice over this final layer so that the bread is nicely soaked and coloured with the juice.

Find a saucer or plate that sits nicely on the top of your pudding without touching the sides of the basin. Push it gently down on the pudding – a little juice will probably seep up round the edges. Place a can of beans or similar on the saucer to keep it all weighted down. Chill for several hours.

To serve, ease a palette knife between the bread and basin, as far down as you can, to loosen the pudding. Place your serving dish over the eased pudding and invert to tip the pudding out onto the plate. You may need to gently shake to release it. Ideally your serving dish will have a bit of a lip so that you can pour some of the left over juice over the pudding for decoration. Serve with cream, creme fraiche or even creamy yogurt (see recipe) and any left over juice from draining.

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