Red Wine and Vanilla Summer Pudding

, from Issue #39. February, 2017
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Red Wine and Vanilla Summer Pudding

Fresh or frozen berries can be used in this recipe. If using frozen, first thaw them with their juices. This needs to be started the night before.

Serves: 8


1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
1x 750ml bottle pinot noir
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
300 grams each blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
10 – 12 slices white toast bread, crusts removed

To garnish
extra fresh strawberries and raspberries
5 cup-capacity bowl


Put the caster sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 10 minutes or until a dark golden colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the wine, vanilla pod and the seeds, taking care as the mixture will bubble and spit furiously. Return to the heat and boil for 15 minutes until the wine is reduced by half.

Roughly chop any large strawberries and add all the berries to the syrup. Bring back to the boil then remove from the heat. Cool.

Place a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit, letting the juices run through without pushing on the berries. Tip the berries into another bowl and set both aside.

To assemble: Line the bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a 10 cm overhang down the outside. Place a layer of the larger berries in the base of the bowl, ensuring it is evenly covered as this will be the top when turned out.

Place 2 slices of bread in the syrup for 8-10 seconds, turning until well soaked but not falling apart. Remove and place over the first layer of berries, breaking it up to fit. Top with another layer of berries then cover with another layer of soaked bread. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of soaked bread and gently pressing down each layer as you go. Reserve the remaining syrup.

Pull the plastic wrap firmly over the top to seal tightly. Place a plate that fits snugly inside the bowl on top and weigh it down with something heavy. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve: Remove the weight and plate and peel the plastic wrap from the top of the pudding. Place the serving plate on top and invert the pudding and the plate together. Carefully peel off the remaining plastic wrap and clean the edge of the plate. Garnish with extra fresh berries and frosted mint leaves if desired. Serves 8 

Cook’s tip: To give the pudding a glossy finish, mix a little cornflour with cold water until smooth. Strain the reserved syrup into a small saucepan and stir in the cornflour. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly and cook over a medium heat until thick and glossy. Cool then carefully brush over the pudding.