Summer Pudding of Four Red Fruits

banner

Preparation info

  • Serves about

    6

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Classic Home Desserts

By Richard Sax

Published 1994

  • About

Summer pudding is one of England’s favorite traditional desserts. A dome-shaped pudding basin is lined with slices of white bread; berries and red currants serve as the filling; the mixture is weighed down, and the whole thing melds together in the refrigerator, with the crimson juices soaking through the bread. Served with plenty of whipped double cream or heavy cream as it is in England, this beautiful dessert cools the palate and lifts the spirits on a sluggish hot day.

Ingredients

  • 8–9 slices firm-textured white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm), preferably 2 days old, crusts removed, cut diagonally in half
  • ½ generous pint red currants, stemmed (or substitute another berry, decreasing the sugar accordingly)
  • ½ generous pint raspberries, picked over
  • ½ generous pint blackberries, picked over
  • cup sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ generous pint strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large
  • Heavy cream, for serving

    Method

    1. Choose a 1-quart bowl, soufflé dish or charlotte mold. Line the bottom with the triangles of bread, arranging the points toward the center so that the pieces fit closely together. Line the sides with more bread triangles. Carefully cut out scraps of bread and fit them into any open spaces; the bowl should be completely lined with bread. Set the bowl and the remaining bread triangles aside.
    2. In a nonreactive saucepan, stir together the red currants, raspberries, blackberries, sugar and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, partially cover and simmer until the fruits are giving up their juices, but are still partially intact, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the strawberries. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
    3. With a slotted spoon, spoon the fruit into the bread-lined bowl. Spoon some of the juice, but not all, over the fruit; reserve the remaining juice. Strain the remaining juice and add the solids to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate the reserved juice.
    4. Cover the fruits in the bowl with a neat, flat layer of bread triangles, points toward the center. Patch any open spaces carefully with the bread scraps; trim any edges of bread that protrude above the sides of the bowl with a serrated knife.
    5. Invert a plate that is slightly smaller than the bowl directly on the bread inside the rim. Place the bowl in a pan to catch any drips. Weigh down the plate with a heavy can or other weight; refrigerate the pudding overnight. After several hours, check to see if any parts of the bread are still dry and white; if so, spoon a little of the reserved berry juice over them so that all parts of the bread are soaked with juice.
    6. To serve, remove the weight and plate. Run the tip of a knife all around the sides of the bowl, and invert the pudding onto a serving plate. Serve cold, cut into wedges, with plenty of cream poured over each serving. (Melted vanilla ice cream will do nicely in a pinch.)