Light and lush desserts

summer pudding
summer pudding

These light and luscious desserts from guest chef Luke Mangan will finish off any summer meal.


This tart combines a delicate citrus tang with a silky smoothness. Serve with double cream: sheer bliss.


½ batch pâte sablée shortcrust pastry*

6 free-range eggs

4 free-range egg yolks

375g caster sugar

300ml double cream

juice of 4 lemons

very fine zest of 2 lemons

juice of 2 limes

very fine zest of 1 lime

icing sugar for dusting

double cream, to serve

Roll out the pastry on a bench dusted with flour to an even 5-7mm thickness and place into a greased tart tin or ring. Press tightly into the tin, trimming off any excess. Chill the pastry case for at least 30 minutes before baking (I like to freeze it overnight).

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove the pastry tin from the refrigerator or freezer and line with greaseproof paper. Fill with some raw rice or dried beans. This will prevent the pastry from lifting or getting air bubbles during the cooking. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and rice/beans and continue to bake the pastry case for another 2 minutes to ensure the centre of the base is cooked.

For the filling, whisk the whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a large bowl until well combined, then whisk in the cream. Stir in the lemon and lime juice and zests, mix well, then pour into a jug. Place the empty tart shell back into the oven. Carefully pour the filling into the shell, just to the top, being careful not to allow any spill over the edge, as this will make the tart stick to the ring.

Bake at 160°C for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and cool. Cut into wedges, dust with icing sugar and serve with a good dollop of double cream.

* Pâte sablée is a sweet shortcrust pastry. Beat 280g unsalted, softened butter with 200g icing sugar until light and fluffy, then whip in 2 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Gently mix in 2 1/2 cups plain flour, 4 tbsp ground almonds and a pinch of salt until well combined. Divide into two portions, wrap in cling wrap and chill or freeze. Makes enough for 2 tarts.


This is a sublime celebration of the berry season's best – prepare it the day before to allow it to set overnight, and serve with a good dollop of crème fraîche.


3 punnets strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 punnets raspberries

2 punnets blueberries

1 punnet blackberries

1 punnet redcurrants

1 cup caster sugar

2 tsp rose water (optional)

3 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water

18 slices fresh white bread, crusts removed

crème fraîche, to serve

In a saucepan, combine the berries, redcurrants and sugar with ½ a cup of water. Gently heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rose water (if you're using it). Strain the juices from the berries into a bowl, then divide the juice into two bowls. Place one of the bowls of juice in the refrigerator to use as a sauce when ready to serve.

In the other bowl, add the gelatine leaves and mix until dissolved. Add the drained berries. Cut the bread into rectangular strips. Line a large pudding bowl or terrine mould (or six smaller moulds, if you want to create individual servings) with the strips of bread, covering the base first, then the sides, overlapping, so they don't fall out of place. Once the bowl is lined, spoon the warmed berries, including the syrup, into the centre of the mould – you want the bread to soak up all the juice and become completely red.

Cover the top of the fruit with more slices of bread, overlapping to seal, and pour over a little more juice to saturate the bread. Cover the top with more slices of bread, make sure the berries are completely enveloped, then cover tightly with cling wrap. Put the mould into a baking tray or pan so the syrup will not spill out in your refrigerator. Place a heavy item on top of the mould, pressing down as a weight on the berries. Place in refrigerator overnight to set.

To serve, remove the pudding from the mould by sitting the mould in a warm-water bath for a few minutes. Run a spatula around the sides and tip onto a platter or board. The pudding should fall out of the mould. Slice and arrange on a plate, spoon over the reserved syrup and serve topped with fresh berries and crème fraîche on the side.

Tip: make individual puddings using dariole moulds, ramekins, or even coffee cups.

Recipes from At Home & in the Mood by Luke Mangan (New Holland). Photography by Dean Cambray.

This story Light and lush desserts first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.