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If you’re on the lookout for a fresh and fruity dessert that’s easy to prepare, red berry and cherry pudding is definitely the dish for you!
I recommend this recipe wholeheartedly as a sweet treat to enjoy all summer long. It’s light, juicy, sweet, and features seasonal ingredients – everything a warm-weather dessert needs.
Also known as rote Grütze, this jelly-like pudding is a popular dessert in northern Germany. It’s also common to see variations of the dish in Denmark, described as rødgrød or rødgrød med fløde.
It is the perfect treat to enjoy during the summer, because you can use the whole range of fresh berries that the season has to offer as well as other juicy and delicious red and purple fruits. Classic choices include red currants, black currants, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries, plums, and cherries.
I use quick-cooking tapioca to thicken the dish. Because the tapioca pearls are precooked and cracked or ground, this product is a smart starch choice to make dessert quickly. Other versions might use groats, semolina, sago pearls, regular tapioca, or even potato starch as a thickener.
You can serve it warm and enjoy a comforting bowlful right off the stove with a splash of heavy cream, or you can chill it for a cool and refreshing treat.
Do you have an upcoming party or cookout? Offer to make this dessert! After it’s chilled, you can serve it in a large bowl for buffets or at parties.
If you ask me, there is nothing better than a sweet and fruity final course for luncheons, barbecues, or casual get-togethers. And you can easily double or triple the recipe.
If you prefer to not serve this dessert family style, another nice option is to chill individual portions in dessert bowls, small jars, or parfait glasses, and garnish each one.
Fluffy whipped cream or a sultry vanilla sauce are two of my favorite creamy toppings that work well to balance the tart fruit base.
Homemade vanilla ice cream would also be a tasty choice, fitting the summer theme perfectly. Or use it to create vibrant layers in a yogurt parfait.
Garnish with fresh fruit and a sprig or two of mint for a pop of color, and you’ll be ready to dive into this pudding!Print
In this sweet, jelly-like pudding, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries tango with tapioca to create a delicious dessert.
- 1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped or sliced
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened black or tart 100% cherry juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons Minute or instant tapioca
- Whipped cream, heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Fresh red fruit, for garnish (optional)
- Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, add the cherries, strawberries, raspberries, cherry juice, vanilla, and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very soft and has begun to break down and release its juice. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a strainer or colander placed over a large bowl and allow it to drain, then set the fruit aside.
- Transfer the liquid back to the pot and add additional sugar to taste. Stir to combine.
- Whisk in the tapioca and set aside for 5 minutes. Return the pot to the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, until the liquid has gelled (or cook according to package instructions).
- Return the reserved fruit to the pot and fold in gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes.
- This dessert may be served warm or at room temperature. To chill before serving, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with your choice of cream, fresh fruit, and a sprig of mint. Store leftover pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Pudding
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: berry, fruit, pudding, compote, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, tapioca, rote grutze
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients
Subbing in red wine for about half of the juice also makes for a tasty treat. Choose something you like to drink that’s a little on the sweeter side.
Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Take a look at our cherry pitter guide to pick the perfect pitter tool for you, or use this straw hack:
I prefer a reusable metal straw for this, but a sturdy plastic straw will also work. Place the tip of your straw around where the stem was, and hold the cherry between your index finger and thumb with your other hand. Push to pop the pit out through the other side.
Hull and chop or slice the strawberries. Cherries can also be cut in half, if you like. If you’re using larger fruits like plums, it’s up to you whether you want to peel them first before cutting them into slices.
Whatever you use, based on what’s available and in season, aim for 4 cups of prepped fruit in total.
Measure the cherry juice. I like to use juice with no added sugar so I have full control over the sweetness level of the pudding.
Measure the vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and tapioca. I used Kraft Minute tapioca, which is available on Amazon. You should also be able to easily find instant or quick-cooking tapioca at your local grocery store.
Step 2 – Cook the Fruit
Add the cherries, strawberries, raspberries, cherry juice, vanilla extract, and sugar to a medium saucepot and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Stir to combine the ingredients and distribute the sugar throughout.
Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Keep the fruit cooking at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The berries will soften and begin to break down, releasing their juice. Sturdier fruits like cherries will hold their shape longer.
Step 3 – Strain and Sweeten to Taste
Set a colander or strainer inside a large mixing bowl and pour in the contents of the saucepot to separate the fruit juice from the solids.
Since you’ll be returning the cooked fruit to the pudding and you still want it to have some texture, do this gently. There’s no need to mash it down to extract all the liquid. Allow the fruit to drain for a few minutes, then set the fruit aside and return the juice to the pot.
At this point, you’ll want to sweeten the juice to taste with additional granulated sugar. Be careful – the juice will be hot! Stir to combine.
Step 4 – Add the Tapioca and Cook
Tapioca cooking instructions may vary depending on the variety that you opt to use, so be sure to reference the package instructions.
Whisk in the tapioca, and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Return the saucepot to the stovetop.
Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has gelled. Remove from heat.
Step 5 – Finish and Serve
Add the reserved fruit back into the pot and fold it in gently.
Serve warm or at room temperature in small dessert bowls with a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit, and a mint garnish.
You can also chill the pudding in a large serving bowl or individual dessert dishes, or use it in a layered dessert like our fruit salad yogurt parfait. Transfer the pudding to your serving bowl or dishes and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight before garnishing and serving.
Leftover pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Fresh or Frozen?
In a pinch, you could use frozen fruit to make this dessert at any time of year.
If you’re using frozen, give the fruit some time to defrost first, reserving the liquid, or just keep in mind that the berries will take a bit longer to warm up and break down in the pot. The final texture of the fruit will also be significantly softer than if you use fresh.
Frozen berries also release more liquid, so plan to use 1 additional tablespoon of instant tapioca to make sure the mixture thickens nicely.
Whatever you do, don’t skip the vanilla. It gives the fruit some added dimension and helps to round out the tart flavors.
How will you delight in this delectable red fruit pudding? Share your favorite ways to top or tinker with this tasty dessert in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Crazy about cherries? Try these recipes that feature the juicy summertime fruit next:
- Baked Cherry Einkorn Cake Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
- Cherry Cheesecake
- Dairy-Free Cherry Dark Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 1, 2015. Last updated on July 24, 2022. With additional writing and editing by Fanny Slater, Nikki Cervone, and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.