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Summer Pudding


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In my garden there are ripe redcurrants and raspberries, so now is the magic time for Summer Pudding, one of the greatest English puddings.

Line a pudding basin with slices of bread. Slightly stale mass produced bread is fine.

Gently warm equal amounts of raspberries, redcurrants and sugar until the juice runs - just bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Pour 3/4 into the lined basin and top with more bread. Encourage the juice to soak in. Puree and sieve the rest and reserve to pour over the outside when serving.

Weight, and leave in the fridge overnight to set. Turn out and cover with the reserved juice. Decorate (a few sprigs or redcurrant) Serve with cream.


I don't like blackcurrants in my summer pudding, as I find the taste to prominent.

A few stoned cherries add a nice stickiness to the juice.

Strawberries are a disaster and go mushy. Make Eaton Mess instead.

If you make a large summer pudding, and extra layer of bread in the middle restores the balance.

For catering and portion control you can make it in a loaf or rectangular mould

There is an article on the history of Summer Pudding in PPC 62, reprinted in "The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy"

Similar early recipes are:

• Warne’s Model Cookery by Mary Jewry, about 1880 (my edition is the New Edition of 1887): called Malvern Pudding.

• Sweet Dishes by Wyvern, author of Culinary Jottings from Madras (1881), recommends plantains and raspberries, or mangoes and pineapple.

I suspect, however, the derivation is different from that given in the article and it is derived from the old style of Charlotte, a bread case filled with fruit compote, traditionally apples, then baked, and dating from the late 18th century, although may be much older as bread "coffins" go back to medieval times I have not been able to find any exact references, but Cook and Housewife’s Manual, Meg Dods, (4th Edition 1829), under ‘A French Fruit Pudding’ says ‘that any kind of ripe fruit may be used instead of apples’, and elsewhere suggests a compote of raspberries and redcurrants. May also be related to Rotegruzel.

Rowley Leigh published an article on the history of Summer Pudding in the Sunday Times in July 1998.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Thanks for the reminder! We only make summer pudding at red currant time. Totally agree about the strawberries. Too many people use them.

Thanks to your post, I might try putting in some sour cherries. It's that season here, and I'm obsessed with them: eating with sugar and Greek yogurt, making pies, putting up in brandy.

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