16 August, 2014

Blackberry Pudding

I feel like I should start this post with an explanation of the word "pudding." Here in the US, "pudding" refers to a specific dessert that's like a thick custard, generally milk-based and thickened with cornstarch, eggs, or gelatin. In the UK, "pudding" can be used just to refer to desserts in general. It also can mean specifically a bread pudding, often steamed, such as your traditional Christmas-time plum pudding. For the most part, I believe Brian Jacques (who was English) was referring to these bread puddings when he used the word. I will follow this idea for the most part, except for a few recipes I think sound like they would be better as the American, custardy "pudding."

This blackberry pudding (really a mixed berry pudding here because I worried just blackberries would be a little boring. And a little expensive) was mentioned in the book Taggerung. I made a small one, suitable for about four people, but it would be easily scaled up to a bowl twice the size of what I used.

PLEASE NOTE: This is another recipe which needs to be started the day before you wish to serve it. Also, this recipe works best with bread which has been left out for a few hours to grow stale, as though you were making French toast, but fresh bread will work as well.

Blackberry Pudding

Prep time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 18 hours
Total time: 18 hours, 15 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (One one-quart pudding)


  • Sliced bread (I used about ten slices of a low-calorie, whole-wheat bread)
  • 5 cups mixed berries (I used blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water


  1. Cut the crusts off several slices of bread and use them to line the bottom and sides of a sturdy, one-quart bowl. Overlap the slices so you have as close to a gapless layer as possible. 

  2. Use a knife to cut off the bread at the lip of the bowl.
  3. Place the berries, sugar, and water into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the berries become soft and begin to release their juices.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the berries into the bread bowl.
  5. Carefully pour the released juices over the berries.
  6. Cover the berries with more slices of crustless bread, again trimming any that hangs over.
  7. Place a plate or similar cover on top of the pudding and weigh it down with a can of beans or something similar.
  8. Refrigerate for about 12-18 hours.
  9. If necessary, use a butter knife to loosen the bread from the sides of the bowl, then invert the pudding onto a plate (or the cover of a tupperware if you're planning to transport it).
  10. Slice and serve the pudding, with a garnish of whipped cream, if desired.
If you happen to have extra juice at the end of step four, I highly recommend dipping your discarded bread crusts into it and eating them on the spot. :)

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