This is the most quintessential English dessert for the summer. I was hired to make it for someone when we lived in London years ago and was terrified I would get it wrong, but it turned out perfectly. This recipe is loosely based on Delia Smith’s version. Delia is the Martha of the UK, a goddess in her own right.
Of course, Summer Pudding must be accompanied by lashings (as my husband would say) of heavy cream!
English Summer Pudding
Serves 6 – 8
1 loaf homemade style white bread, such as challah or brioche, crusts removed
6 to 8 cups assorted summer fruit, such as:
blueberries, strawberries, red currants, black currants, red or golden raspberries, and/or small plums, rinsed well and drained, large fruit (strawberries/plums) halved and quarters
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit, plus 1/4 cup
Line a large bowl (about 6 to 8 cup capacity) with plastic wrap. Cut the bread into diagonal halves and arrange them, puzzle-like, into the bottom and up the sides of the bowl.
Now rinse all the fruits and place in a large pan together with the sugar. Cook over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the juices begin to run (be careful not to overcook and so lose the fresh flavor of the fruit), then remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the fruit and juice in – except for about a cupful – then cover the pudding with the remaining bread and place a small plate or saucer (one that will fit exactly inside the rim of the bowl) on top. Place a weight – or some other heavy object – on top of that and leave in the fridge overnight.
To serve, remove the weights and plate and unwrap. Place a large serving plate on top of the bowl and gently invert. Shake gently to release the pudding onto the plate and remove the plastic wrap. Spoon the reserved fruit and fruit juices over the top and serve with sweetened whipped cream.