An Autumn “Summer Pudding” Recipe for Sunday Lunch
A British classic, a Summer Pudding is a thing of sublime beauty – swathes of gently poached berries and currants encased in a shell of soft bread, it’s an easy recipe to make and makes good use of excess berries (and currants) you may have throughout the summer as well as the autumn. Sometimes called “Summer Fruit Pudding”, it’s usually autumn before I make my first one, mainly due to the glut of raspberries I have growing in the garden and the onset of the first brambles (blackberries). The recipe’s origins are unknown, although I have read that they were a popular dessert at health spas during the 1800’s, where they were called “Hydropathic Puddings”, but I suspect a thrifty housewife with stale bread to use up, a bowl of berries and currants at hand and a hungry family to feed, or, even a downstairs “country house” cook trying to make the most of her budget for the upstairs employers and a summer garden party dessert. Whatever the origins of this classic pudding, it is indeed a thrifty way to use stale bread and an excess of summer or autumn fruits.
A summer pudding is unbaked, and therefore saves on fuel too…..but, you do need to make it the day before (or at least 12 hours) before you serve it, so the juices have a chance to permeate the bread shell and the pudding also sets or firms up. You must use stale bread and your bread must be “man enough” to stand up to a long overnight soak……so, plastic white sliced bread is not the best choice; I tend to use bread that I made or that I have sliced from a commercially made loaf, the slices need to be trimmed of crusts but robust enough to withstand all the juices that seep into the pudding, so it doesn’t disintegrate and/or collapse when it is turned out to serve. White bread is best for a classic summer pudding recipe, as wholemeal doesn’t give the same ruby-red glow…….I also think that the wheat germ texture of wholemeal bread is at odds with the silky smooth fruit filling, but that’s just me! Be careful if you add black currants, as these wily little rogues have a very pungent flavour and they have a tendency to “take over” the overall taste of the pudding.
To make this classic British pud, please follow my recipe below, which has some step by step images attached to make the whole process easier. You need a good old-fashioned pudding basin too – mine is made by Churchill China and is part of the Caravan Trail – the pattern is Penzance – and as you can see the blue & white really compliments the jewel-like colours of the pudding. As regular readers will know, I am proud to be the UK Food Blog Ambassador for Churchill China, and this post is part of my annual calendar of recipes made using their fabulous products. All my other recipes (and posts) can be found here: Churchill China..…..so do pop over to see what other recipes I have creates, such as Porridge with Maple Syrup & Pecans, Newfoundland Toutons with Butter & Maple Syrup Butter, Raspberry & Vanilla “Pain Perdu” (French Toast), Chocolate Marmalade Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding and 5:2 and Weight Watchers Diet Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
That’s all for today, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and if you are stuck for what to make for a family dessert for Sunday lunch, this is the pud for you! See you soon, Karen
Disclaimer: I received a Churchill china Penzance dinnerware service for free, in order to share and showcase the china with my readers as part of my sponsored collaboration with Churchill China. I was not asked to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
As this is a FRUITY recipe, I am adding it to the Four Seasons Food challenge for September, which is run by Anneli and Louisa over at Delicieux and Eat Your Veg, where the theme for this month is FRUIT