I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

December 30, 2011

Summer Pudding

How did your Christmas go, dear Readers?

Was it chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

Or throwing another shrimp on the barbie?

Well, after days of feasting, its time to let my days be merry and lite, and enjoy something a little less rich but no less yummy than the traditional pudding served this time of year- bring on beautiful berry Summer Pudding.

Summer pudding is a traditional British dessert, first served as a health food in health spas in the 1800's. Much lighter than thick rich pastry, it originally combined slices of bread and lashings of fresh raspberries and red currants so I guess that qualifies it as health food, well at least if its gluten free for me that is.

The berries are either macerated overnight in sugar to get their ruby juices flowing, or heated gently without cooking to achieve the same liquid love.

Thinish slices of bread are then dipped in the juices,kinda like sponge fingers for tiramisu, then used to line a basin to create a shell for the berries.
A bit of squishing overnight transforms soggy bread into berrylicious bounty, fit to serve to those you love, and I promise they will never guess that its "health food".

I've decided to up the ante with my pudding though. Forced to use frozen ones as my berry bushes are still a bit immature, I've added a little extra zing with the addition of Chambord, a delicious black raspberry liquor, and a good dollop of leftover Christmas cranberry jelly to tap into the tartness normally supplied by the red currants. I also sneak in my secret weapon of a tablespoon of arrowroot to ensure my pudding holds together when turned out, instead of tumbling into a delicious but embarrassing mess.

This is another no real cooking, no real measuring recipe. The amounts you need are really dependant on the size of the basin you use. Play it by ear, and just add more as needed.

Summer Berry Pudding

Fresh or frozen berries, enough to well fill your chosen basin

Loaf of nice gluten free bread, whole not sliced

Couple of tablespoons castor sugar

One good tablespoon cranberry jelly

One good tablespoon Chambord

One tablespoon arrowroot powder

One tablespoon water

Place berries, sugar, cranberry sauce and liquor into a saucepan. Heat gently until the berries soften just a little and the juices and sauce meld together into lush loveliness.

Strain the berries thoroughly but without squishing then, keeping all the juices.

Mix the hot juices with the blended arrowroot and water and it will thicken just a little.

Carefully remove the crusts from the load of bread. Make sure you keep these so you can freeze them and use them as crumbs later.

Slice into about half cm slices, but be careful as you know how crumbly gluten free bread can be. Cut a nice round to sit in the top of your basin, then slice the rest of the bread in half into little soldiers.

Line your basin with cooking wrap, I used a freezer bag, try and have it long enough to hang over the edge a little.

Starting with the round bit, dip each piece of bread into the pretty purpliness that is the berry juice, generously soaking them. Line the basin with upright strips. Try and keep your pieces tightly together, but patch with scrappy bits as needed.

Spoon all the berries into the bread lined basin, then top with more bits of soaked bread to cover
Pour any remaining juices over your pudding.

Pull the wrap over the pudding, covering well. Place a heavy weight on your pudding to compress it and make it set firmly.
Leave overnight in the refrigerator.

Un-weigh and uncover the top of your pudding, then carefully invert it onto your serving dish.

Decorate with a few extra berries and maybe some mint leaves for color, then drizzle with any extra juice collected in the plate or left in the bowl.

Cut into nice big wedges and serve with some thick lactose free cream for extra extravagance.

Yummm... Perfect with a nice chilled glass of bubbles, on a hot sticky summers night.

So Dear Readers, do you enjoy a traditional pudding, out would you give something lighter a try?



  1. That is so lovely. We are in AMerica so it was al about winter food but I am bookmarking this for a warm weather dessert. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

  2. Bec, your summer pudding looks simply splendid! It is a perfect dessert for hot, summery Xmas in Oz, isn't it.
    I hope your arms are feeling better, your drug intake is reducing and that you can have a tiny drop of whatever does you good to see in the new year. Have a very happy and safe one!

  3. What a wonderful allergy friendly take on an old favourite. Ps - isnt chambord just delightful!

  4. I love a recipe that includes booze :)
    While half my family lives down under... I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around a summer Christmas. It's minus 10 here in Toronto. We'll soon see minus 30 - and now you know why I appreciate food that comes complete with alcohol :)

  5. This summer pudding looks so good! Jamie Oliver did a similar one on one of his Christmas shows...now I want one too! Deliciousness!

  6. What a great idea for a GF dessert! I have a GF recipe up tomorrow but it pales in comparison to this beauty! Happy New year! :D

  7. Ooo.. using bread instead?! What a great dessert idea! Have a lovely 2012 celebration (entry into I mean) Yayy!

  8. I've seen something like this on TV before and it looked fantastic. I'm going to give this a try.

  9. Just stunning! And the absolute perfect use for GF bread which is already a little 'cakey'. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  10. I approve of any recipe that requires a cat to watch it for a period of time.

  11. I'm ashamed to say Summer Pudding has never really appealed to me... something about soggy bread... It's very pretty though!
    Christmas pudding for me this year was strawberries and whipped cream (trying so hard to give up sugar) XXXOOO

  12. ive never used arrotroot before.

    i totally love the colour.. nice and bright for the new year.

    Happy NEw year, to eating and beyond :)

  13. Happy New Year!! I love berries and this is a great season for it. The colours are very festive as well :)

  14. Dear InTolerant Chef,

    Looks like summer is really here with the heat today. Your trifle looks pretty amazing with those bright vibrant colours. I would prefer something lighter rather than the traditional.

  15. We call the berry pudding "Rote Grütze" over here, but it comes without bread. Usually, it is served with vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream. Personally, I don't eat desserts anymore, though, because I try to keep the sugar to a minimum. I could make a sugar-free version of this! :D

    Happy New Year to you!

  16. Happy new year :D Ive always wanted to try summer pudding. Its on my (evergrowing) list haha. Will def give it a go

  17. I love my traditional pudding but would gladly try out this beauty as well. I love the food history you throw in. Health Spa food, who knew? Love it :)
    Heidi xo

  18. Magnificent, Becca! I love how you've made this look so good with frozen berries and gf bread! Actually, frozen berries can be really good, often better than fresh, and we keep a freezer full of them! Hope you're having a wonderful new year, love! :)

  19. i have never tried summer pudding but really should! you'll be pleased to hear that i cooked your turkey cranberry meatballs with cranberry port red wine sauce for christmas appetiser, loved them, thanks for the recipe.

  20. A Happy 2012 filled with joy, good health ( Heal well ) & real food adventures too! :)
    Your summer pufdding looks like a real winner! Waw!!!

  21. Gorgeous! I've often wondered about trying to make Summer Pudding with gluten-free bread, but for some reason have never got around to it. I must try! Do you mind my asking what brand of bread you used?

  22. All i know is that this literally sounds like my perfect dessert! I would eat this for every meal. And adding the chambord is an amazing idea. What wouldn't be good with it. LOL This reminds me of what my sister and I use to do when we would play in the kitchen. We loved when my mom would macerate berries. We would dip pieces of white squishy bread in the juices and let it soak all up and then eat the bread. This sounds just like a way more grown up fancier version of it. ;)

  23. Well my Lovelies, how are you enjoying 2012 so far? I hope this year brings you health and happiness, love and laughter, peace and prosperity!
    I'm looking forward to lots more adventures with fun and food, and hope you can come along for the ride!

    Carol- I hope you kept warm over there, did you manage a white Christmas? Thanks,I hope you have a lovely holiday too :)

    Amanda- perfect for our stinking hot weather! Thanks honey, slowly but surely, and I sure am hanging out for a crisp glass of cold Sav. Blanc!

    Lisa- thanks, yes its lovely! Alas, like you I'm if booze for now- morphine and alcohol just don't mix :'(

    Gluten free gift- booze certainly warms the heart! You should try to manage a summer Christmas one day, I'm sure your rellies would love to have you :) one day Id love to celebrate a white Christmas!

    Ina- he can make anything look good can't he! Give it a try, its really easy-and yummy :)

    Lorraine- what a compliment! I love your recipes and gluten free is always a bonus! Happy new year to you and yours to sweetie :)

    Msihua- its yummy and pretty! Thanks, and same to you sweetie!

    Scott- yeah, its been around for a while and there's probably millions of versions- but this ones pretty tasty!

    Christie- I think that was the secret with the gluten free bread, it didn't go slimy like 'normal' sandwich bread. Happy new year to you too!

    Lucas- nothing leaves my kitchen without her tasting and approval! :)

    Janet- I was a bit worried at first too, but it was great and smooth, not soggy. are you going totally sugar free, or paleo natural unrefined sugars?

    Dolly- don't worry, you can leave it out, out usea little corn flour instead. Happy new year to you too!

    Akika- very festive colors indeed! I love deep reds for Christmas

    Chopin- definitely something lighter with our summer heat!

    Kath- you could definitely make this sugar free, I love the tart natural flavor, but a little agave or maple syrup would be perfect.

    Nic- and to you too! I've got one of those lists too :)

    Heidi- healthy never looked so good! Its certainly nice for a change

    Celia- frozen berries are so handy aren't they? My freezers full of them too, and mangoes, and homegrown strawberries, and rhubarb, and plums...... :)

    Muppy- it makes me so happy to hear that! I hope you had a nice Christmas with your family, Muppy.

    Sophie- why thankyou! Healing bit by bit, slowly but surely!

    Hannah- it works best with a neutral tasting bread with an open texture. This bread is from a local baker who cleans out all his equipment once a week so he can bake glutenfree bread. Its nice and light, but I'm pretty sure its just sugar and starch, so I only get it now and then

    Kim- just a grown up version indeed! Just goes to show that you've always had great taste!

  24. Ah summer pudding...I have been thinking of making one of these now that berry prices seem to have dropped (finally). Must do it soon or the season will be over!

  25. Your summer pudding looks wonderful! I've never been a fan of traditional Christmas pudding and would much prefer to eat this :-)