Summer fruit pudding season has been the longest time coming. The cravings came mid-winter, just before I wrote a post half about out-of-season berries, and stuck around until my twice-weekly supermarket check for those red and blue and purple gems bore, er, fruit.
There’s satisfaction in the fact that the recipe saves a little food waste – I don’t keep bread in the house so I bought a loaf from the reduced section in the supermarket, but for the average person it means using up those past-best slices, and the crusts can be whizzed up into breadcrumbs for meatballs or a savoury crumble. Between that and all the vitamins you’ll be getting, it’s pretty much a virtuous pudding.
It’s all the ease you want from a dessert when the weather’s nice, really. A summer fruit pudding is just a bit of slicing and arranging, a quick blast of the fruit on the hob, and five minutes later it’s ready to pop it into the fridge to do its thing while you relax. Leave it overnight and you’ve got a refreshing pudding with minimal fuss.
It was almost tempting to not take photos for this recipe, because there’s very little you can do to disguise the inevitable fact that summer fruit pudding looks like something from the prop cupboard of a low budget horror movie.
But it just…tastes really nice. We rub the lime zest into the sugar, to release its oils, before adding it to the fruit and then sneak a teaspoon of lightly sweetened vanilla mascarpone into each pudding. It’s simple and delicious, and about as British as can be.
Makes five sizeable puddings (in large ramekins)
550g, ish, sliced bread
700g assorted summer fruit
1.5 tbsp sugar (of your choice!)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp icing sugar (optional)
- First up, cut the crusts off the bread and set aside (see note!). Cut the bread in half, slightly diagonally (Diagon Alley), apart from five pieces, which will be the base of each pudding. For these, turn your ramekin upside down on the bread and roughly cut around it.
- Line each ramekin with cling film, leaving enough over the side to close over the pudding later, then line with the half-slices of bread, thinner end down and overlapping slightly so that the pieces fan up and around the side of the ramekin.
- Zest half the lime and rub the zest into the sugar – rubbing it will release the oils best.
- Heat the fruit, sugar/zest and a few squeezes of lime juice in a pan over a medium heat, until just squishy and juicy. While this heats up, combine the mascarpone and vanilla paste. Add some icing sugar if you fancy it.
- Half fill each ramekin with fruit, dollop a generous teaspoon of vanilla mascarpone into the centre and top with more fruit.
- Tuck the bread circles you cut out earlier into the top of the ramekins, press to seal, and bring the cling film over to cover the top.
- Weight the puddings – with the type of weights you’d use on old fashioned scales, or by stacking the puddings and occasionally switching the stack up so that each one has a turn at being at the bottom. Refrigerate overnight.
- Serve (see notes for the easy way to transfer to a plate or bowl) with the leftover vanilla mascarpone and a little more zest if you’re feeling fancy.
Notes: Save those crusts! They can be blitzed up into breadcrumbs and used in the future.
The clingfilm means you can easily lift the puddings out rather than scraping around with a palate knife. To serve, unfold the top of the cling film and lift the puddings out of the ramekins. Undercover the top (soon to be bottom!), hold the pudding in your hand and place a plate on top, flip, and peel off the remaining cling film.