Easy Strawberry & Blackberry Pudding Recipe
Strawberries, raspberries, blue & blackberries - easy pudding
I adapted this recipe from the English Summer Pudding that my mum used to make.
She'd use a variety of berries, depending on what was available. In the autumn, we used to pick blackberries from the hedgerows for this recipe.
In the summer, strawberries would be the main ingredient. That's the great thing about this dessert - it is very flexible depending on the berries available. And it was one of my mum's typically frugal recipes as it makes the fruit go much further and it uses simple ingredients.
This dessert requires no baking or steaming but it does need to spend a couple of hours on the fridge before serving. Preparation time is just a few minutes though and if you're making this ahead, it keeps well under refrigeration.
Mum would often serve this with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top but this dish is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party with more exciting toppings and sauces. The pudding itself is suitable for dairy-free diets although the toppings in this recipe are not. Vegans and strict vegetarians can also make substitutions for the toppings.
CHOOSE YOUR BERRIES
You can use any proportions of berries and whichever are available at the time - there are no rules for this recipe. I used a mix of strawberries - which I cleaned and halved, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
CHOOSE YOUR CONTAINER
Because you won't be baking this in the oven, or steaming it like a conventional pudding, there's no need to use a heat-proof bowl. My mum used to use a lovely traditional china basin. This time, I decided to make a loaf-shaped dessert but the choice is up to you. Select a container that will comfortably hold the fruit.
- Mixed fresh berries that will fill your chosen bowl.
- Bread. I used a small loaf of ready-sliced, good quality white bread.
- 1 teaspoon cherry spiced rum. This is optional
Prepare the berries
LIGHTLY COOK THE BERRIES
Wash the berries well and place them in a pan on the stove. Add water - the amount will depend on the amount of fruit. Don't cover the fruit with water but have it come up about halfway. If you're using the rum, add a teaspoon of it to the pan. (Note that one one pictured is not vegan). Add the sugar. I used about two tablespoons but you can adjust this to your own taste. Turn up the heat, bring to the boil and then simmer for two minutes. Then remove from the heat.
Prepare the bowl
LINE THE BOWL
Line the bowl with foil. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it prevents the pudding from sticking to the bowl and secondly, it makes it easier to turn out the final dish. Be sure that the foil overlaps as you'll be folding it over the top of the pudding. I do this while the fruit is simmering.
Build a bread lining
LINE THE FOIL WITH BREAD
Cut the crusts from the bread and place slices in a single layer in the bottom of the bowl or loaf tin. Line the side of the container too.
SAVE THE CRUSTSThe crusts you remove from the bread can be used in other recipes such as Boston Bake. I keep them in a glass jar in the fridge.
Add the berries
SPOON THE BERRIES OVER THE BREAD BASE
Gently, so that you don't break up the fruit, spoon half the berries over the bread at the bottom of the bowl or loaf tin. Then add a further single layer of bread.
ADD MORE BERRIES
Add the remainder of the fruit on to of the new layer of bread. Top with a final layer of bread, neatly cut to size.
Spoon the syrup from the pan over the top layer of bread. The finished pudding with have a lovely marbled appearance. You should have about a cup of syrup left for serving.
COVER WITH FOIL
Take the foil that overlaps the loaf tin and fold it over the top of the pudding, covering it completely. Press down lightly with your hands.
I NEED A BRICK!
This is something I have never said before when cooking but at this stage in the recipe, it's exactly what I needed. The pudding now needs a weight putting on top and left to chill in the fridge. A short walk round the yard didn't reveal a brick but it turned out that weights were closer at hand. See below.
The cans are almost a pound each in weight so are perfect! They fitted perfectly. Now simply put this in the fridge, cans and all, for at least two hours.
PLATE THE DESSERT
Remove the foil from the top, put a suitably sized plate or platter on top and turn out the pudding. I love the marbled look of the fruit syrup and the bread. Decorate with extra fruit and sprigs of mint.. (I had reserved strawberries to decorate the top of the pudding but 'someone' ate them when I wasn't looking!)
OUR FAVORITE TOPPING
This pudding is delicious served with ice cream. It's also very tasty - and elegant - with cream. If you don't eat dairy, we've tried this with several cream and ice cream substitutes and it's still delicious. This is our favorite sauce though because it's what my mum used to serve it with (ah, nostalgia) - but with a twist. We use Carnation evaporated milk and whisk it quickly with a tablespoon of Bailey's Irish Cream!
Pour a spoonful of the reserved syrup onto each plate. Add a slice of the pudding.
Spoon the milk and Bailey's mix over the top an watch as it marbles into the red syrup!
Select a liqueur that is vegan-friendly if you are using this sauce. Bailey's is not vegan-friendly.
Read more about making the most of delicious seasonal berries - they are just about as healthy as you can get.
Want a really posh version?
See Gordon Ramsay's. Gordon being Gordon,you might want to turn the volume off if a certain word offends you.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson