Summer Pudding

A recipe from Stephen Markwick

Stephen started to make this regularly when he was cooking at the Carved Angel in Dartmouth where they used to get fabulous fruit from the Dittisham Fruit Farm.
You can put in anything you like in the way of berries – that’s the joy of summer pudding – but gooseberries are useful in bulking out the more expensive berries and there’s something about their sourness that makes for a good rounded taste.
If you have an abundance of a certain fruit from your allotment, you can use a little more fruit than the quantities below.
It’s best to use an old-fashioned pudding basin and make a larger pudding, otherwise the bread to fruit ratio in individual puddings can be too much. The bread really needs to be stale, ideally a good old English white from the local bakery sliced thinly and left for 2 days.

Summer PuddingMakes 1 litre pudding – serves up to 8


  • 450g gooseberries – red ones are nice is you can get them
  • 450g granulated sugar
  • 50ml elderflower cordial
  • 450g mixed blackcurrants and redcurrants
  • 225g strawberries
  • 225g raspberries or loganberries
  • ½ to ¾ of a stale white loaf, thinly sliced (about 10 slices in all)


  1. Put the gooseberries into a pan with the sugar and a good splash of neat elderflower cordial (or water at a pinch) and heat, stirring well to help the sugar dissolve and not stick and burn.
  2. Once the gooseberries begin to soften add the currants and put a lid on the pan. Once they reach simmering point add the strawberries and then a few minutes later the raspberries
  3. Just bring the pan to a boil and then take off the heat. (You can add other fruit depending on the time of year e.g. cherries (de-stone them first) or blackberries. Add the fruit in sequence depending on the time it takes to cook.)
  4. Take the bread, cut off the crusts and cut into triangles towards the base, overlapping them as you go. Cut a round to cover the base of the basin then fill with the fruit, draining it first with a slotted spoon. (You can keep the excess juices to use in ice creams or sorbets.)
  5. Cut a final circle of bread to fit the top and then fold over the tops of the bread triangles and press down with a saucer. Spoon more juice over the top to thoroughly soak the bread, replace the saucer, weight it and leave the pudding in the fridge overnight.

Note: it is best to put the bread and fruit together while the fruit is still hot so that the juices soak into the bread which should be well soaked for colour and flavour.

  1. Loosen the pudding round the edges with a knife. Turn out and serve with extra fruit and juice and some whipped cream flavoured with a little caster sugar and elderflower cordial.