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Buttermilk pudding with sharp fruits

Ed Smith

An easy to make, flexible dessert from Ed Smith’s new book: Crave 

Recipe Meta


5 mins


2 mins (plus 1 hour maceration and 6½ hours cooling)






For the buttermilk pudding

  • 1 vanilla pod (bean)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 leaves of gelatine
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 300ml cultured buttermilk

For the fruit (optional)

  • 400g cooked tart fruit, as described above
  • For white balsamic macerated strawberries (optional)
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and halved (or other summer berry)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

To serve

  • 12 amaretti biscuits


Use the tip of a sharp knife to split the vanilla pod in half, then use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape the seeds out. Combine the seeds, pod, cream and sugar in a medium to large saucepan with tall sides (as the cream is about to expand significantly).

Prepare a small bowl of cold water for the gelatine leaves to ‘bloom’ in.

Place the saucepan over a medium-high heat and boil for exactly 2 mins. Start the timer when the cream in the middle of the pan is beginning to bubble and threatens to rise up (not when it’s simply bubbling around the edge). Leave the gelatine to soak in the bowl of water for the same amount of time.

Remove the pan from the heat immediately once the time is up. Add the lemon juice to the hot cream, then squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and add those too, whisking until dissolved. Leave to cool for 30 mins.

Decant the buttermilk into a medium size mixing bowl or Tupperware. Strain the cooled cream through a sieve (strainer) into the buttermilk, using the back of a spatula to push the cream and vanilla seeds through. Using the same spatula, fold and stir the two liquids together until they are one. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Prepare your choice of sharp seasonal fruits as you wish, or, if serving with strawberries: put the halved strawberries in a bowl 30 mins to 1 hour before serving, sprinkle with the granulated sugar, mix and add the white balsamic vinegar. Leave to macerate, tasting just before you serve in case more sugar and/or vinegar is required.

Use the biggest spoon you have to scoop a portion of set(ish) buttermilk cream per person, alongside a serving of tart fruits. Crumble the amaretti biscuits and pile near the cream (or leave for others to do so).

Recipe from Crave (Quadrille)
Image: Sam A Harries