News and Features

Finding the perfect summer pudding

Discover how Glyndebourne chose its signature dessert, and find a recipe so that you can make your own.

The summer pudding has always been a Glyndebourne favourite where it has made various appearances in our menus over the years.

Our dining friends at Leith’s, who look after all of your catering needs on site, realised it was fine time that it became a signature dish.

With this decision came the task of sourcing the right ingredients via their suppliers and trying out different recipes, making sure it would be a delicious summer pudding that could be found in all of our restaurants in Glyndebourne.

With a benchmark of needing to produce 15,000 puddings for this year’s Festival, making a summer pudding of that quantity whilst retaining Leith’s high standards is always a challenge, so the best way to make sure this would be possible would be to hold a tasting.

On a snowy February evening, Gus Christie alongside members of the Glyndebourne board and trustees were invited to a tasting and were given the very important task of finding the Glyndebourne summer pudding.

All of the samples were presented with a mouthful sized piece on a spoon alongside whole single portion samples as a visual. From there our guests were asked to voice their opinions and give their feedback.

In the end, it was a close call, but it was Leith’s own in-house summer pudding which won out in the end. Look out for this across all our different restaurants this summer. There will be single portion servings at Mildmay and Middle & Over Wallop, with roulade sizes at Nether Wallop and ready for picnics. Delicious.

– Julian Wilson, Executive Chef for Leith’s at Glyndebourne

How to make your own Glyndebourne Summer Pudding

Julian has shared his recipe for Glyndebourne’s Summer Pudding, with his top tips for getting perfect results.
Serves: 6 – 8 people

300g strawberry
250g blackberry
100g redcurrant
500g raspberry
OR 1¼kg/2lb 12oz mixed berries and currants of your choice
175g golden caster sugar
7 slices of white bread (square medium-cut loaf)


Julian’s tip: As with any dish that you cook, always have all the right kitchen equipment ready before you start and read through the recipe to make sure you understand the method and how long it will take to prepare.

1) De hull strawberries, rinse fruit and dry on a clean tea towel.

2) Line a pudding bowl with two layers of cling film big enough to be able to fold over covering all the pudding (for similar measurement, lay the cling film out on a table and lay on top of each other).

3) Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut a square for the base of the pudding bowl and cut the bread to fit the bowl without any gaps, remembering a lid.

4) Place 3tbsp water and sugar in a pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Add berries and gently poach the fruit, if more sugar is needed then adjust seasoning.

Julian’s tip: When cooking the berries do not over-cook as it is still nice to have a little resistance when biting into the fruit. Don’t be tempted to add too much sugar as the berries will vary in sweetness depending on their variety and ripeness. Add it sparingly like you would with salt in savoury items. It needs to have a slight sharpness to it and not be overly sweet.

5) Drain the juice in a colander, place pre-cut bread (from step 3) in juice and line the bowl. If there is any juice left over, keep it for painting the pudding once turned out.

Julian’s tip: Give the bread a good soaking in the cooked juice to ensure the bread gets a proper coating, but don’t leave it soaking too long as the bread will fall apart.

6) Pack the fruit in the bowl and place the lid on top.

Julian’s tip: Line mould with soaked bread and pack in the berries, making sure the berries surround the bowl/container so that when you press and weigh down the pudding it is tight and compact in the mould.

7) Place a saucer, or similar, to fit on top and push down. Place in the fridge with a weight on top to compress the fruit overnight.

8) To turn out, remove the saucer and place a plate upside down and flip the pudding over quickly and carefully.

9) Pull the pudding bowl and cling film off.

10) Using a sharp serrated knife (bread knife can be used), cut the pudding into portions and remove the slices and place on to a plate. Add garnish with mixed berries and serve with a vanilla whipped cream or ice cream.

Julian’s tip: Let the knife do the work by using the whole blade as you cut through with little downward pressure.

If cooking is not your thing and it just seems like far too much work for what should be a relaxing visit to Glyndebourne, then instead come and visit us in one of our stunning restaurants or buy a picnic and eat on the beautiful lawns and enjoy one of our own pre-made carefully selected Summer Puddings.

You might also like

Take a look at the Festival 2024 production of Giulio Cesare…
This summer we're hosting a weekend of open days, your chanc…
Read our top tips for a Festival visit.
Explore our latest job vacancies
Brighten the stage with world-class opera and artists
Glyndebourne Shop
Our online shop offers a great selection of exclusive and locally sourced products. Every purchase supports our work.
Become a Member
Enjoy priority booking for the Festival. Find out how you can join as an Associate Member
Support us
Glyndebourne is a charity and the Festival receives no public subsidy. We rely on generous supporters who are passionate about opera.