Summer fresh berries are combined with hearty bread in a pseudo-traditional English Summer Berry Pudding. Packed with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, it’s a simple and refreshing summer dessert.
I have never been to a high tea. Or any tea party for that matter. Not even an imaginary one when I was a little girl. We were into more of the being outside and getting all dirty type of girls. Sometimes I think Dad was raising boys.
But, when I recieved my package of tea from republic of Tea, I thought I should make a recipe you could serve at high tea. Which lead to the gamut of finger sandwiches, scones, and cookies. Even macaron! But something just didn’t quite sit well with me on any of those ideas. I wanted something more berry specific to sort of accompany the tea I received in my package.
I can’t remember where I first saw this. But from that moment on, I was hooked and knew at some point I would be making a summer pudding. Whatever show it was on made it look so simple yet so elegant. And, it kind of is. They used recycled tin cans from vegetables or coffee I think. The bread was simply slices of white bread that they cut WITH the tin can. Then they filled it with the delicious berry filling.
Summer pudding (or summer fruit pudding for some) is British. It’s layers of bread with fruit and macerated berries all squished down into a bowl (or in this case a loaf pan) to marinate and get all soft and delicious.
Originally called hydropathic pudding due to the amount of liquid it contained. The first mention of hydropathic pudding occurred in 1894. It was served in health spas and resorts during that time. This pudding was also served to the elderly and others with digestive issues. Those who couldn’t tolerate the butter and fat laden traditional dessert pastries.
The first mention of summer pudding, as you see it here, is in 1904. But, there are a few older variations similar in make up. But this pudding dates back to 1904 at least. And became super popular during the 1800 and 1900s.
It’s made with summer berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and a range of currents. I have never tried fresh currents. But apparently they come in many of colors that are sometimes used in making summer pudding. I wonder where I can find fresh currents.
In the United States, there’s very few places where you can find fresh currents. So, you’ll see more blackberries, raspberries, and even blueberries and cherries in the recipes on this side of the pond.
For my version, I used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I’m on the fence about blackberries. Sometimes they are more bitter than sweet. I didn’t want to have this summer pudding be more sour than sweet. So, I opted out of using the blackberries at the store.
Did I tell you all that I think there’s some wild blackberries growing near the creek by the house?
I’m not quite sure if they’re raspberries or blackberries, but they are something like that. This summer I will have to go down there and check them out. I can’t imagine anyone else in this area will know what they are. I might have them all to myself!!
The trick to making this is to use stale bread. And not your typical sandwich loaf either. It should be a good, country bread or fresh loaf from the bakery. Not one that is in a bag on the shelf, but one with a large crumb. One that you dream about slathering with butter and eating the whole loaf it’s that good.
Doesn’t everyone dreams of slaterhing bread with butter? Just me? Moving on…
I purchased a loaf from my local Lidl grocery store. They have great bread for a reasonable price. You could use the bread from Whole Foods or even Wegmans; just as long as it’s and artisanal loaf that not super soft. And you need to let it sit for a day. Preferably not in a paper or plastic bag. It’s okay if some of the inside gets a bit firm. It will make for a better summer berry pudding in the long run.
Sometimes I just like saying the word artisanal just because it’s fun!
What is also fun are the flavors in this Republic of Tea bags. I received a container of their Beautifying Botanicals™ Daily Beauty Herbal Tea in Blueberry Lavender flavor. To go along with that, I also received a tin of their Beautifying Botanicals™ Beauty Sleep Herbal Tea in chamomile rose flavor.
Packed with blends of botanicals, these teas can help improve your skin’s complexion from the inside out. Both the blue butterfly pea flower and the blueberry contain anthocyanins that may to promote collagen. The hibiscus flower in the Daily Beauty blend is one of natures best hydrators. The chamomile in the Daily Sleep blend helps you to sleep. Rose hips have anti-aging properties. Bamboo contains silica which strengthens hair, skin and nails. And finally, there’s Schizandra berry. Used for centuries, this age old berry helps protect the skin.
The best way to introduce your friends to this delicious tea is to drink it for a few weeks, then invite them over. You have a face up on them and can show them how amazing this tea is. Then they can taste how amazing this tea is.
Make sure you go to Republic of Tea to order some for your high tea with your friends. And follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay on top of all the revolutionary products they introduce.
- 1 loaf rustic white bread, sliced with crusts removed
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- Place the strawberries and raspberries in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the water with 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Stir in the blueberries and continue to cook until they begin to burst but not overcook. Remove from heat.
- Pour the blueberry mixture over the other berries, stir, and set aside to macerate.
- Remove the crusts from the read and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Then carefully line the loaf pan (or pudding mold or souffle disk) with the bread making sure not to leave any gaps. If you are using a pudding mold, reserve some of the slices for a second layer or bread with the berries.
- Pour the berry mixture and the juice into the loaf pan. (If you are using a pudding mold, place half the berries in the mold, top with more bread, then the remaining berries.)
- Place a top layer of bread over the berries. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh it down with a smaller loaf pan, plate, pie weights, etc. Anything you have that will weight it down.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
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