Summer pudding is the ultimate summer dessert. With just three ingredients, it’s a wonderfully simple recipe that’s bursting with fruity flavour.
Summer pudding is a classic British dessert that celebrates the ripe and juicy berries that the season brings. We may be stuck in the UK for the summer, but enjoying the wonders of this pudding filled with homegrown fruits is helping make up for our inability to travel!
If you’ve never tried summer pudding before, it’s an easy to make no bake dessert that you’ll come to love. It’s both simple and impressive at the same time! With an outside of bread soaked in juice and a filling of sweet summer fruits, it’s a treat to look forward to every summer. And it’s naturally vegan!
All you need is:
- Mixed berries
- Sugar and a splash of water
The bread forms the outside of the pudding and soaks up the fruit juice to become a vibrant pink colour. The best bread for summer pudding is a simple white sandwich loaf. You want a sturdy bread with an even crumb. Check your bread to make sure it doesn’t contain non vegan ingredients such as milk, honey or eggs.
Slice the bread about 1cm thick and cut off the crusts. The offcuts can be spread on a tray and toasted in the oven, then pulsed into breadcrumbs. You can then store these in the freezer for the next time you need breadcrumbs in a recipe, like our yummy Vegan Schnitzel!
You’ll want to use a mixture of seasonal berries and currants. A mix of raspberries, red currants and black currants is a traditional combination.
You could also add in:
- Strawberries (hulled and halved)
- Cherries (stoned and halved)
- Blueberries or bilberries
- Loganberries (these are a cross between a blackberry and raspberry and my personal favourite!)
You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Frozen fruit tends to go softer so it won’t make such a sturdy pudding, but will still taste totally glorious!
The amount of sugar needed in your summer pudding will vary depending on the mix and ripeness of the fruit you choose, and your personal taste. If you are not using blackcurrants or other less naturally sweet fruit, then you may want to reduce it to taste.
We haven’t tested the recipe with unrefined sugar alternatives, but maple syrup would be a possible substitute.
Step by step pictures
You’ll find the recipe below in the recipe card, but here is a visual guide on how to make and assemble your summer pudding.
STEP 1 – Line a 1 litre bowl with bread, fitting the pieces together so that there are no gaps.
STEP 2 – In a saucepan, heat the fruit, sugar and water for 3 – 5 minutes until the berries are tender, but still intact, and have released their juice.
STEP 3 – Reserve a few tablespoons of juice, then fill the bread lined bowl with the fruit and juice.
STEP 4 – Cover the top with more bread, cutting it as necessary to fill in the gaps, and pour the reserved juice over the top.
STEP 5 – Find a saucer that fits just inside your bowl, and place a weight on top (we used jam!) and chill for 6 hours, or overnight.
STEP 6 – Just before serving, gently loosen the edges of the pudding from the bowl using a spatula. Cover with a serving plate, flip over and gently shake to release!
Here’s a few ideas for how you could adapt this summer pudding recipe:
- Use a vegan brioche or challah bread
- Add a splash of fruit liqueur for a boozy twist
- Make smaller, individual portions in ramekins (cut the bread thinner so that the bread to fruit ratio isn’t too much)
- Add some lemon juice or zest (particularly if you don’t have any tart fruit like blackcurrants)
- Use stewed apple, pears and blackberries for an autumn pudding
We hope you enjoy our summer pudding recipe! We recommend serving it with a drizzle of plant based cream, or whipped coconut cream.
Try these other vegan summer desserts
- 6-8 slices white bread 1 cm thick
- 6.5 cups (800 g) mixed summer fruits raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries, blackberries…
- 4 tbsp (50 g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
- Cut the crusts off the sliced bread.
- Line a bowl (about 1 litre or 2 pints capacity) with the bread slices, covering it up inside entirely. Tip: cut the bread slices to fit any gap in the lining.
- In a saucepan, heat the fruit, water and sugar for 3-5 minutes, so the sugar is dissolved and the berries are tender but still intact. The berries should be almost covered in the juice.
- Reserve a few tablespoons of the juice and then pour the contents of the saucepan into the bowl.
- Cover up the fruit with another layer of bread on top. Pour on the reserved juice, soaking the bread.
- On top of the bread layer, put a plate just small enough to fit inside the bowl. Place a weight on it (jar of jam, etc).
- Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Place a plate underneath in case any juice spills out.
- Take the weight and plate off, collecting and saving any juice that has accumulated at the top. Use a spatula to loosen the pudding from the sides of the bowl, to make turning it out easier.
- Place a serving plate upside down on the bowl and flip it all upside down. Give it a gentle shake if the pudding doesn't come out of the bowl on its own.
- Pour any remaining juice over the pudding. Decorate with extra berries, slice and serve with soya or coconut cream.