Quick and easy to prepare, the classic Summer Pudding is at its best with fresh strawberries and raspberries. Just chill overnight for summer fruit success.
Nothing says summer better than a Summer Pudding. My daughter always chooses this as her favourite Sunday pudding once the strawberries and raspberries are all over the shops.
Key ingredients in Summer Pudding
Fresh or frozen fruit?
- In theory, all the fruit would be fresh, and that would be wonderful. In practice, I buy frozen currants because they're easier to prepare (basically you just defrost them) and they are easily available, all fitting in with the Everyday Cooks' philosophy.
- Fresh raspberries are preferable as they're bigger and sweeter than most frozen versions, but if necessary use them. They won't need much heat though, just a gentle warm through.
- Fresh strawberries are essential. Frozen ones will be mushy and a Summer Pudding needs a bit of bite!
Sliced loaf or not?
Sorry, definitely not! The bread from a sliced loaf is too limp for Summer Pudding. A decent unsliced loaf is fine. If you have a breadmaker, you could make your own.
Secrets of Success
This pudding can look quite daunting as you might worry about it collapsing. There are some rules to follow to make sure it's okay:
- Let it chill for long enough. Don't be tempted to take the pudding out of the fridge too soon
- Make sure your basin is the right size and that you have a plate or saucer that just fits inside so that the pudding will be compressed
- Use a heavy enough weight - about 2kg is good
Gluten-free Summer Pudding?
No problem. I've made this using an unsliced GF loaf and it's fine. It's a tad sweeter than usual, but not unduly so.
I was a bit concerned that the bread wouldn't hold its shape and collapse when I turned the pudding out, but it was perfectly fine.
So your biggest concern will be whether to serve your Summer Pudding with cream or ice cream (or both).
If you like this...
...Why don't you try:
- 5-6 slices bread, from a large unsliced white loaf
- 400 g strawberries
- 350 g raspberries
- 250 g redcurrants and/or blackcurrants fresh or frozen - see note
- 150 g caster sugar
- Wash the fresh fruit and cut the strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on size
- Put a saucepan on a MEDIUM LOW setting and heat the strawberries and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the raspberries and currants for 2-3 minutes to warm through, draining first if frozenYou are not aiming to cook the fruit, just start to soften it and get the juice starting to run
- Slice the bread and remove the crusts
- Cut one slice of bread to fit on the bottom of the pudding basin, slightly coming up the sides. Arrange the bread slices to line the sides of the basin, overlapping slightly and filling in any gaps
- Strain the fruit and spoon into the bread-lined basin. Add the juice, keeping about 150ml back
- Make a lid for the pudding with a slice of breadIt's okay if it's just above the rim of the basin
- Place a small plate or saucer that just fits inside the bowl on top and add a 2kg weight. Use anything heavy, e.g. weights from scales or a (clean) stone
- Leave in the fridge overnight.
- Loosen around the edges with a palette knife. Place the serving dish upside down on the basin and then turn the right way up
- Use the reserved juice to cover any white patches left on the bread
- Decorate with fresh fruit if desired
- Serve with cream or ice cream.
- Frozen currants need no preparation, just defrosting