Summer pudding has become a British classic. As stated in one 1920s book, “everyone knows this dish, all like it.” It started life in the mid-nineteenth century as “hydropathic pudding,” though there were a number of recipes in circulation that were similar. In theory, as the healthysounding name suggested, it was good for those trying to watch their weight, since it uses bread and not pastry as the base. Given that most recipes then suggested serving it with heavy or whipped cream, ice cream, or custard, its usefulness as a diet food is debatable. It is a great way to use up slightly stale bread, however, large loaves of which we regularly see on the table in the Downton servants’ hall.