English Summer Pudding is really a misnomer if you’re from the States, as it isn’t what Americans think of as pudding at all.  To the British, the term pudding seems to cover everything from steamed savory dishes to molded cakes. This “summer pudding” is a classic English dessert made with the available berries of the season inside of a soft white bread mold.

English Summer Pudding
English Summer Pudding
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It’s also deceptively easy to make, even though it looks like one of those elaborate desserts for special occasions (**NOTE: you do need to let it sit overnight).

I made this many years ago when I was trying out  “themed movie nights” for the kids.  My thought was to rent a classic genre movie once a week and prepare food that might then  be associated with each movie.  The Summer Pudding went with the comedy genre and the movie I rented was Monty Python and the Holy Grail

While the summer pudding was great, the movie was just not funny at all to my then-young children.  It was one of those “what were you thinking, mom?” kind of deals.  British and subtle humor were completely lost on my 10-year old son and 12-year old daughter.

Ah well, the summer pudding was memorable at least, and it’s now a standard summer dessert here in Minnesota during berry season.

Which Berries Should be Used?

Not all berries ripen at the same time of year, so you’ll have to go with your favorites that are fresh at the farmers’ markets.

Alternatively, use frozen blueberries, raspberries or blackberries and go with fresh currents. Blueberries and blackberries freeze really well and will keep their shape better than other berries.

Frozen raspberries work well because some of their juice is released and that provides more juice to soak up into the bread.

Red currants are a classic and if you can find them, definitely use them. They add a really nice “tang”.

Does the Pudding Need Syrup?

Berries used in English Summer Pudding
Berries used in English Summer Pudding

English Summer Pudding

English Summer Pudding with Blueberry Lavender Syrup
An easy way to make an elegant berry dessert inside of a bread mold. A British classic
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 8
Calories 228
Author dorothy stainbrook

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries can substitute currents
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chambord liqueur
  • 3/4 cup sugar may need more or less depending on tartness of berries
  • 12 slices firm white sandwich bread Brioche is nice, Pepperidge Farm works well
  • Blueberry Lavender Syrup to pour over top optional
  • mixed fresh berries for garnish optional
  • whipped cream optional (alternatively use ice cream)

Instructions
 

  • Combine the berries, Chambord, and 1/2 cup of sugar in medium-size saucepan and place over low heat. Cook until sugar has just melted to form a light syrup and the berries are barely warm, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim the crusts from the bread, keeping slices as large as possible. Cut the bread into diagonal halves.
  • Line a medium size bowl (about 1 1/2-quart) with plastic wrap, allowing generous overhang on sides. Smooth plastic on the bottom, and around the sides of bowl.
  • Line the bowl with the bread, puzzle-like, into the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Make sure the bread slices fit right next to each other snugly, leaving no gaps.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer half the berries to the bread-lined bowl, spreading them out evenly. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp sugar over the berries, and then cover fruit with 2 pieces of the bread. Spoon remaining berries over the bread, then sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Pack the fruits so they are level with top of bread lining and cover berries with remaining triangles of bread, leaving no gaps. Reserve any remaining juice from the fruit and set aside.
  • When the top layer of fruit is covered with bread, pull the overhanging plastic wrap over the top and place a plate over the top, so that the plate is flush with the bread. Add 2 heavy cans or a 2-pound weight to the plate and let sit at least 8 hours, or overnight, refrigerated. The idea is to place a total of 2-4 lbs weight on the pudding to help it turn into a mold.
  • To serve, remove the weight and unfold the plastic wrap that covered the top and let it hang over the sides. Place a large dinner plate upside down over the top of the pudding bowl and tun the bowl upside down onto the plate. Gently lift the bowl off of the bread mold, then peel off the plastic wrap.
  • To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the pudding into slices. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt or ice cream. Garnish with Blueberry Lavender Syrup, fresh berries and mint if desired.

Notes

**Note: Nutrition facts do not include serving suggestions of whipped cream, ice cream or garnishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 185mgPotassium: 165mgFiber: 6gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 85IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share it on Instagram! @dorothy_stainbrook_heathglen or tag #heathglen!
English Summer Pudding with bottle of Blueberry Lavender Syrup
English Summer Pudding with bottle of Blueberry Lavender Syrup

Long directions, I know, but it is really not a difficult, time-consuming recipe.  Unfortunately, I did not take photos as I went, so I can’t show you the step by step procedure. I will make it again this summer and update the process with photos.

5 Comments

  1. Bere on July 19, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Oh, this looks good! Love that I could make this in vegan by simply finding almond whipped cream or something similar.

  2. Cherry Jeffs on July 18, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Looks amazing! And I love Monty Python 😉

  3. Cyndy Crist on August 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I love summer pudding – as you said, it’s more complicated to describe than it is to make. The trick is finding the right size and shape of bowl and the right size plate to put on top. I have a recipe that was given to me by our tour guide in England in 1998 that I like to use, but they’re pretty much all the same. I do find some American versions a little too sweet because they often omit currents. To my taste, you need the tart/sweet balance of currents and sweeter berries (I like raspberries and strawberries best).

    • Anonymous on August 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I’m with you on the currants Cyndy. The one I made the other night was actually a little too tart, so I did add another 1/4 cup of sugar to this posted recipe. The one I made several years ago used frozen berries (made in winter) and because there was so much juice, they didn’t need the syrup on top. This one with the fresh berries didn’t extract the juice as much, which is why I used the syrup on top. They were both delicious though!

    • dorothy stainbrook on August 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      For some reason my above reply came out as mystery man! I am neither a mystery or a man. The above comment was from Dorothy S.

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