Dr Vennier’s Cherry Pudding

Dr Venner lived in Bath in the early seventeenth century and was well known for his treatise Via Recta ad Vitam Longam. He gives a recipe for this pudding, which was served to him when he visited Kent and which he never forgot because of its simplicity and deliciousness. Serve with cream.


  • 1 lb (½ kg) good dessert cherries, white or black
  • ½ cup (120 g) sugar
  • 1 stick (120 g) butter
  • 8 very thin slices of bread, crusts removed


Stew the cherries gently with 1 tablespoon of water, half the sugar and 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the butter, until they are soft and have made some juice. Allow the cherries to cool a little and then stone them.

Butter the bread. Put 4 slices, butter side down, in a shallow fireproof dish. Pour in the cherries and their juice. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the remaining sugar. Put the 4 remaining slices of bread butter side down over the cherries. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and dot with the remaining butter. Bake at 400°F (200°C, Gas Mark 6) for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.