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I was recently looking for a warm weather dessert that didn’t require a lot of baking time or fancy cooking equipment and came upon the idea of a summer pudding. I had made small versions of this recipe way back in culinary school and haven’t made it at all, I don’t think, in the years since. What I love most about it is that it doesn’t require you to heat up the oven so it is perfect for a hot day. You do need to work in advance so that it can sit overnight for maximum ‘pudding’ quality. I also did what my grandmother always taught me to do–used much less sugar than you might think. It makes desserts addictive when they have a savory element to them! Also important to note is the kind of white bread you use, preferably sandwich bread from a bakery–commercial white bread has lots of additives so it will get slimy, and brioche and sourdough don’t give you enough structure. Give this a try, you can easily scale it up or down, depending on the size of your crowd. 

Summer Pudding:

One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is that the berries inside could be swapped out for other juicy ripe stone fruit or berries. So you can use what is in season and at your fingertips. Currants, peaches and apricots would all work well.

You do want to use berries or fruits that are very easily cooked into a juicy stew so that those juices can soak into your outer bread.

And then of course I recommend finishing with some thick heavy cream because it adds so much wonderful texture… and well, I have a thing for heavy cream as you may remember.

Look how sublime that is inside! The overnight setting helps the outer soft bread and inner berries turn into one beautiful custard texture. 

You will have a hard time not eating this up in one sitting. It is that magical combination of not-too-sweet, bursting with summer flavor, and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Give this a try at home this summer! You will absolutely love it.

Have you ever made summer pudding before? Tag us with pictures when you make this recipe on Instagram using #ModernPioneering!

“Summer Pudding”


  • 4 cups raspberries
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 loaf day old white bread crusts removed sliced into 1/2-inch slices (don't use commercial white bread it will get slimy! Find something from a bakery that has structure but is bland.)
  • Cold heavy cream to serve
  • Note: You will need a bowl with a flat bottom roughly 6-cups in side to serve as a pudding mold.


  • In a saucepan over low heat, combine half the berries, sugar, lemon and vanilla.
  • Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sugar melts and the fruit releases its juice.
  • Remove from the heat and add the remaining berries, stirring them into the hot liquid to melt slightly.
  • Strain the juice into a small bowl and set aside.
  • To assemble the pudding, cut one slide of bread into a rough circle to fit the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cut the other slides of bread in half so that you have strips of bread.
  • Dunk the bread into the fruit juice and layer it around the outer surface of the bowl lengthwise, bottom to top, overlapping slightly to line the bowl completely. Press the soaked bread down gently to secure them in place.
  • Spoon the fruit mixture into the center of the bread-lined bowl and place the last slices of bread on the top to cover the fruit, then pour all remaining juice over the top.
  • Cover the top of the pudding loosely with plastic wrap, then find a plate that fits just inside the bowl rim and set it on top. Put a weight of any kind on top of the plate to press the pudding down--any condiment jar or item in your fridge with some weight will work.
  • Place the bowl inside a larger dish to catch any juice that seeps out while it rests.
  • Chill in the fridge overnight.
  • To serve remove the plastic wrap and put a large plate face down on the top of the bowl and invert it. You will feel the pudding come out easily onto the plate in one piece, give it a gentle shake if necessary.
  • Serve in slices with cold cream poured on top.

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