Summer Pudding

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Summer Pudding

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Published prior to 2008

Summer pudding was devised by the English in the 19th century for people who wanted something that tasted richer than it actually was. This pudding, also designed to use up stale bread, is chilled rather than baked. Use whatever berries are in season; in this version, we use a combination of strawberries and blueberries, which gives the pudding a deep purple hue. This recipe comes from our "King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook."

Follow our step-by-step photos for making this dessert at our blog, Flourish.

8 half-inch thick slices semolina bread or other mild-flavored bread, crusts removed
2 pounds fresh or frozen berries (about 6 1/2 to 7 cups)
1 cup sugar

Line the bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart bowl with the bread, cutting it to fit as needed.

Leave berries whole or, in the case of large strawberries, cut them in pieces. Heat the berries with the sugar over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the juice of the berries starts to flow. (If you're using sweetened frozen berries, you can skip this part. Just make sure they're thoroughly thawed before you use them.)

Pour the fruit mixture over the bread. Place another layer of bread on top of the fruit, making a "lid" with these slices.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the bread "lid." Place a small plate, one which will just fit inside the bowl rim, on top of the plastic wrap. Weigh it down with something heavy (a can of beans, a jar filled with water) to force the juices up into the top layer of bread.

Refrigerate the pudding for 6 to 8 hours. The juices will seep into the bread, turning it a lovely color, and the fruit will set somewhat.

To serve, remove the weighted plate and plastic wrap. Put a serving plate upside down on top of the bowl and flip the whole thing over. Cut in wedges and top with whipped cream or yogurt sweetened with a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1991 issue.


  • star rating 05/21/2012
  • Bart from Lake Jackson, TX
  • Made this for a church potluck, and it was a huge hit! We didn't have time to bake our own bread, so we bought a loaf of potato bread from the grocery store. For the bottom of the pudding bowl, we used two layers of bread because grocery store bread is so soft, and not very thickly sliced. We did strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
  • star rating 05/22/2011
  • Goat Girl from KAF Community
  • Exquisite! I used up a loaf (white sandwich bread) that didn't rise so well (humidity) but tasted delicious. I only had frozen berries - blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - and they were fine. Next time I make this I'll use fresh berries and just a little less sugar as they simmer together. Looked elegant and so easy to prepare. Thank you KAF!!
  • star rating 08/10/2010
  • emumma2007 from KAF Community
  • My first experience with summer pudding was ideal: picking wild blackberries with my hosts in the Scottish Highlands. My hostess made a summer pudding and it was marvelous. I've tried this KAF recipe twice and it's incredibly simple and good. My Scottish friend told me that the secrets of a good summer pudding are to use no more sugar than necessary (this recipe seems perfect to me) and to cook slowly over very low heat until the berries are only warm and juicy. I didn't have a bowl that seemed the right size, so I purchased a set of 6-cup plastic containers at the grocery and it's not elegant, but it's the perfect size and I can give away the pudding and container if I want (but it's hard to give away something this good).