Summer pudding

Summer pudding

How to Cook Desserts
Peter Cassidy

It is important to make this pudding a day in advance, to allow time for the shape to set. You will need a 1 litre pudding basin.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg mixed soft fruit, such as redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
150ml water
170g caster sugar, or to taste
10 medium-thick slices white bread, ideally 1–2 days old


  1. Put the fruit, except the strawberries, in a medium saucepan with the water and sugar and cook gently over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the fruit is softening but still has a vibrant colour. Add the strawberries and continue to cook for 2 minutes until the strawberries are just softening. Taste and adjust the sweetness, if necessary.
  2. Transfer the fruit to a colander set over a bowl and set aside until most of the juice has drained into the bowl. Press the fruit a little to extract more juice, but avoid crushing it to a pulp.
  3. Cut the crusts off all but 2 slices of the bread, and cut in half slightly on the diagonal, but not in triangles. Cut 2 discs from the remaining 2 slices of bread, one to fit in the bottom of the pudding basin and a larger one to cover the top of the basin once filled with fruit. (This top layer will not be seen so you can fill any gaps with bread off-cuts.)
  4. Dip the smaller disc of bread in the juice and place in the bottom of the pudding basin. Dip the diagonal pieces of bread in the juice and use them to line the basin, overlapping each piece of bread a little and pressing them together to ensure a good seal.
  5. While the fruit is still just warm, spoon it into the bread-lined basin, ensuring the fruit is well packed in to give the pudding a good shape. Dip the larger bread disc in the juice and use to cover the fruit. Stand the pudding basin on a lipped tray, then press a saucer or plate on top of the pudding and put a heavy weight, about 500g, on top. Leave in a cool place overnight to allow the pudding to set in shape.
  6. Pour any remaining fruit juice into a saucepan and boil to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Taste and add more sugar if necessary, then leave to cool.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the weight and the saucer. Invert a serving dish over the bowl and turn both over together. Give the pudding basin a sharp shake, which should release the pudding, and carefully remove the pudding basin. Spoon the reduced juice over the pudding. Serve with double cream lightly whipped with a little caster sugar to sweeten.

A note on using frozen fruit...

  • You can use frozen fruit, but reduce the water quantity to 50ml, as it will release more water as it is heated.

A note on unmoulding…

  • To ensure an easy release, you can line the pudding basin with several layers of cling film before lining it with the bread. After inverting the pudding, carefully peel away the cling film.
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