Originally posted June 10, 2013

Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding by elipawse


This molded, chilled dessert is absolutely scrumptious, and it also does not photograph well (okay, David Lebovitz has a beautiful pic in _Room for Dessert_, but he's a professional). Don't be put off by the weird-sounding recipe. Serve it once and I can pretty much assure that it will go into heavy rotation.

Note that you need to prepare this dessert at least a day in advance.


  • 12-14 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (that's roughly 7 pints; I usually try to use about 1/3 raspberries, filling in the rest with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, huckleberries, marionberries...and red currants if I can find them fresh)
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cassis (optional)
  • 1 loaf sliced white bread (use a bread with some texture)
  • whipping cream
  • Equipment: you'll need a 1 or 2-quart souffle dish, and also a plate that fits inside the mouth of that dish.
~10 servings


If the strawberries are large, halve or quarter them.

Slice off the bread crusts.

Place all the berries, the sugar and the cassis in a stock pot over medium low heat. Cook them until they begin to break down and their juices are forming a sauce.

While the berries are cooking, line a 1 1/2 quart souffle or casserole dish with plastic wrap, leaving plenty of overhang at the sides (you'll wrap the ends over the top of the pudding when you've filled the dish).

Line the sides and bottom of the dish with the bread slices. You'll need to trim and carve the slices to make a snug fit, but cut the bread as little as possible so that it holds the dessert together well.

When the berries have broken down, ladle about half of them into the bread-lined dish. Cover them with a layer of bread, again trimming to make a snug fit. Ladle the rest of the berries on top of the new bread layer. Cover these berries with a layer of bread as before. If there's leftover berry sauce, set it aside to use as extra when you unmold the dessert.

Press down on the top layer of bread so that juices begin to seep into all the bread layers. The bread and berries should be tightly packed.

Fold the overhanging plastic wrap snugly over the berry/bread mixture. Cover with a plate with a diameter a bit smaller than the mouth of the souffle dish/casserole dish, and weight the plate with something heavy --a big can of tomatoes or what have you.

Chill in the fridge for 24 hours or so.

To serve: unwrap the top layer of plastic and invert the pudding onto a chilled plate. Lift off the dish and remove the rest of the plastic. The berry juices should have seeped through the bread to color the dessert an irresistible purple-red. If there are any pale areas, color them in by spooning leftover berry juice on them.

Serve the pudding cold, garnished with whipped cream and maybe a little mint and some extra sauce.

45 mins + 24 hrs chill time



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