Summer pudding is a British summer tradition that I, as an anglophile, love to make as often as I can during the short-lived berry season. The pudding must be kept overnight in the fridge, but it’s easy to make—requiring only three ingredients and a little prep—and impressive to serve.
If white bread isn’t your thing, you can use a day-old brioche. But generally, in my house, brioche doesn’t last that long. I use blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, but any combination or addition of any other seasonal berries from your neck of the woods would be fantastic. Blackberries, gooseberries, and red currants would work as well. If you absolutely must indulge in summer pudding in the middle of winter, frozen berries are totally acceptable—just cook them a little less, so they maintain their shape.
I love serving summer pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- 1 loaf day-old, thin-sliced white bread
- 3 pounds mixed berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries), divided
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
Trim the crusts of the bread. Cut out 12 circles the same size as the bottom of the ramekins you’re using. Line the bottom of each ramekin with a circle—reserving the 6 remaining bread circles—and line the sides of each ramekin with the rest of the slices, trimming to fit. Press with your fingers to flatten the bread.
Hull the strawberries and slice them into halves or quarters, to about the same size as the raspberries.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 2 pounds of the mixed berries and 1/2 cup sugar. Gently simmer until the sugar dissolves, the fruit is slightly soft—you don’t want it totally soft—and some liquid is released. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Strain through a medium sieve and save both the fruit and the liquid. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of liquid to spread among the ramekins. Reserve any remaining sauce to add before serving.
Fill each ramekin with the fruit up to the rim and cover with the reserved bread circles. Top with a spoonful or two of the strained liquid, enough to saturate the bread, and reserve any remaining liquid for serving.
Tightly wrap the ramekins with plastic wrap or foil and place them in the fridge—stacked on top of each other, if their shape allows. Place weights on top—jam jars work well—to create an even surface. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Puree the remaining 1 pound berries and 1/4 cup sugar in a blender. Strain through a medium sieve and chill until ready to serve.
To serve, unwrap the ramekins, run a knife around the edges, and invert onto a plate. Pour a few tablespoons of the puree on top and let it drip down to the sides. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf.