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Spicy Winter Fruit Pudding for Christmas

A spicy winter pud full of Christmas spirit

A spicy winter pud full of Christmas spirit

Les Trois Chenes version of Summer Pudding

This spicy, winter pudding is a version of the traditional English dessert, Summer Pudding. At Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast we like to use our own fruits and vegetables when possible, and we like easy, tasty recipes.

I've had it in mind to try to make a summer pudding with a winter fruit twist for quite some time, and the moment arrived when I had to get a sack of our peaches out of the freezer to make way for emergency bread. This pudding, winter or summer, is also a great way to use up your stale bread.

It's late November and the wood-burning stove is glowing merrily, the perfect time for stewing fruits. I covered my peaches with water, brought them to the boil and left them to simmer for quite a while (I easily lose track of time), and then took them off the stove. What to do next?

Our peach trees behind the gite; it reminds me of summer

Our peach trees behind the gite; it reminds me of summer

Choice of fruit

This recipe started with the stored summer peaches. To this peaches and syrup mix I added dried fruits that I had in my store cupboard: apricots, raisins, prunes and sultanas. If my husband hadn't eaten all the figs I'd have added them too! Dates and currants would work well too.

I soaked these overnight in the peaches and peach syrup, added a bit of sugar to taste and a slug of wine and I then brought them to the boil and simmered until soft, about 10 minutes?

If you are just using dried fruit, cover them with water or wine and soak overnight, then add sugar and stew as above.

The ingredients that I used

The ingredients that I used

Other ingredients

In addition to my peaches and dried fruits I used the following:

  • Sliced bread. In normal summer pudding you use white bread, but this pudding doesn't have that rich, purple juice so I used wholemeal bread. You can use your stale bread up.
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Ground ginger*
  • Pineau de Charent, but any fortified wine like sherry or port would do

* If you want to use fresh ginger, grate it or chop it finely and put it in with the fruit to stew

Cut off the crusts

Cut off the crusts

Line the basin

  • Lightly grease a pudding basin with butter, margarine or oil
  • Cut the crusts off the sliced bread*
  • Put a whole square of bread into the bottom of the basin
  • Then cut the slices of bread into triangles as shown
  • Arrange these triangles along the sides of the basin, overlapping the base and each triangle to form a bread shell

* I sprinkled these crusts with salt and toasted them, then served them with an avocado dip. The children loved them.

Fill the bread shell with fruit

Fill the bread shell with fruit

Fill with fruit

Fill the bread-lined basin with fruit and juice. Fold over the tops of the bread triangles, close off with a final square of bread and pour over a little juice to ensure the bread is moist. (I used a little too much juice and the pudding was softer that I would have liked.)

Weigh the pudding down

Weigh the pudding down

Decoraed with medlars and holly

Decoraed with medlars and holly

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Medlars are ripe when soft and brown

Medlars are ripe when soft and brown

Weight it down

Find a plate or saucer that just fits into the top of the basin, and put something on it that is heavy enough to just weigh it down so that it sets. Let it cool and then chill in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to turn it out, gently slide a knife around the edges, put a plate over the top of the pudding and turn it over. With any luck the pudding will drop out and retain a pudding shape.

Decorate with winter fruits

You could decorate your pudding with a sweet sauce dribbled down, a shake of icing sugar (I wish I'd thought of that before I took the photos and ate the pudding!), a pile of winter fruits and nuts - any other ideas? Please feel free to leave you ideas in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you.

I decorated mine with holly leaves and Medlars. The last of the medlars are just ripening at the end of November and they look wintry, old-fashioned and pretty on the pud. If you have medlars, add them to the pudding fruit, they would be perfect.

Serve with creme fraiche, yoghurt, ice cream, custard ...

Serve with creme fraiche, yoghurt, ice cream, custard ...

Bread and butter pudding with a Limousin twist

Bread and butter pudding with a Limousin twist

More thrifty tips for using old bread

  • Queen of Puddings - Stale bread recipe
    Queen of Puddings is one of our Great British pudings, economical, thrifty but delicious. We make it as a family pudding even though we serve French food for guests at our Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, France? You won't believe how wonderful, cheap
  • Traditional Stuffed Cabbage Recipe from Limousin France
    Stuffed cabbage is one of the many traditional, frugal and absolutely delicious recipes from Limousin, the rural heart of France. A farming area and once very poor, there are many dishes which feature stale bread, chestnuts and cabbage and this cabba
  • Stale Bread Recipes - Delicious ways to use your old bread
    Stale bread recipes: Transform your old bread into delicious dishes. Use up your stale, day old bread and save money with these budget-friendly frugal recipes. Easy bread pudding recipe, puddings recipes, stale bread recipes, summer pudding white bre
  • Old Bread New Tricks

To serve

Serve slices of the pudding with a sauce or ice cream. Creme fraiche, cream, ice cream, yoghurt, yoghurt and honey .... the choice is yours. You could even use it as an alternative to Christmas Pudding and serve it with rum sauce or brandy butter.

Tip: This pudding was even more gorgeous the next day!

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

Join us for dinner at Les Trois Chenes Guest House!

Where is our Bed and Breakfast near Limoges?


Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on December 09, 2015:

Thank you for these kind words, Janellegems. Hope you enjoy it.

Janellegems on December 06, 2015:

This is something new. Thanks for the step by step instruction to make spicy winter fruit pudding. This looks good, will have to try it.

Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on December 11, 2010:

2patricias Low fat, easy, economical, foolproof, what more could you want? Many thanks for your comments.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on December 11, 2010:

I love fruit-based puddings, and this sounds delicious. Better yet, it looks like it is within my ability range.

Love the photos!

Les Trois Chenes (author) from Videix, Limousin, South West France on November 28, 2010:

stephhicks68 Thanks so much for your comment. I made all my friends wait ages while I took the photos. Only then could they eat the pudding!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on November 28, 2010:

Gorgeous photographs and great instructions on how to make spicy winter fruit pudding. I love bread pudding, so I'll have to try it.

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