Berry Pudding

Berry Pudding

For Americans, the word “pudding” may evoke images of Bill Cosby hawking cups of the rich creamy chocolate dessert on TV, but elsewhere in the world, “pudding” is a word used to describe a whole family of dense starch-based dishes that can be either sweet or savory. Summer pudding hails form the UK where it was once a popular treat during the warmer months. While it may not enjoy the pedigree of an Eton Mess or the popularity of Scones, it deserves a place in the pantheon of delicious simple desserts.

Summer berry pudding is proof that with a handful of good ingredients, you can make an elegant dessert that tastes as good as it looks. Put simply, this dessert is just some stale bread and berries with a bit of sugar refrigerated in a bowl overnight. While this may be an accurate description of the level of effort, it’s a woefully inadequate description of the magic that happens when these humble ingredients come together.

Summer Pudding

As the berries macerate with the sugar, they release their juices, which are eagerly lapped up by the stale bread. By the time the bread has mingled with the berries overnight, the humble loaf has morphed into a luscious pudding, that’s like a cake soaked in the lifeblood of the berries.

While I stuck with raspberries and blackberries for their vibrant hue and fragrant flavor, you can make this pudding with just about any fruit that readily releases juices when coaxed with a little sugar. Strawberries, gooseberries, and currents are a few other berries that work well, but peaches and pineapples would also work. I used a homemade pullman loaf, but any good quality sandwich bread will work fine.

Equipment you'll need:

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    Summer Berry Pudding
  • Also known as a summer pudding, this gorgeous dessert tastes as good as it looks.
ServingsPrep TimePassive Time
8 10 minutes 1440 minutes


  • 1 loaf stale sandwich bread
  • 340 grams raspberries
  • 340 grams blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar - unrefined or 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon zest


  1. Remove the crusts from the bread.
  2. Line a 1.4 liter (1.5 quart) bowl with a piece of plastic wrap that's much larger than the diameter of the bowl.
  3. Mix the berries with the sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of lemon zest. Toss to coat evenly and let the berries sit while you work on the bread. You can speed the maceration up by vacuum sealing the berries in a bag.
  4. Line the bowl with bread, cutting pieces out to ensure there are no overlaps and no gaps. If the bread isn't very stale, leave it in a windy place for an hour to dry out a bit.
  5. Pour the berries and juice into the bread-lined mold.
  6. Cut some more bread out to make a lid for the berries, ensuring there are no gaps or overlaps.
  7. Pull the wrap over the bread, pressing down on the berries a bit to flatten the surface, and then place a weight on top of the bowl that’s slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl. A straight-sided pot with cans in it works well.
  8. Refrigerate overnight with the weight. Serve with whipped cream or cashew cream.
  • Chef Doru

    Looks absolutely gorgeous.

  • Dave

    I’m always amazed when a few simple ingredients come together to make some as exquisite as this. What a great way to use up those extra seasonal berries.

  • Laura

    Looks great! How long do you macerate the berries prior to putting with the bread? Also, do you refrigerate with the weight? If not, how long does it need to be weighted? Thank you!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Laura, the berries just macerate while you line the bowl with bread and let it dry out if need be. They just need to get a little juicy which you can speed up by roughing them up a bit. As for the weight, yep you refridergate with the weight overnight.

  • Dan

    This is so much more luxurious than you think it will be! Ours came out a bit marbled-looking (not enough juice?) but was still far more than the sum of it’s parts. Plain Greek yoghurt is my topping of choice. Simply awesome, so refreshing.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Dan, if it turned out marbled, the bread probably wasn’t stale enough. After I mold it to the bowl I usually let the bread dry out a bit in an airy place. The two other possibilities are that the bread was too thick, or the weight wasn’t heavy enough. Glad to hear you enjoyed it anyway.

  • Oui, Chef

    Just love the colors in this treat, must make this during berry season.

  • Journeys & Travels

    this looks inviting and tasty :) delicioso!

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  • Jon

    Hmmm…If the juices stopped soaking about a third of the way up, is there anything I can do to resucitate this dish? It might be my bread was not correct (I tried to hurry it along by putting it in the oven at the lowest temp with the door open) or the berries didn’t macerate long enough. Not quite sure…

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jon, the bread may not have been stale enough, or maybe it was too thick, but you should be able to fix it by adding more weight on top.

      • Sodamoeba

        Awesome, thanks as always for your time. Oops multiple disqus accounts…confusing


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