Red Berry Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Rote Grütze mit Vanillesoße
In recent decades, this pudding went from an old-fashioned dessert to a culinary blockbuster. Although recipes vary greatly, almost all of them call for red currants, which are much more popular in Germany than in North America, where they can be difficult to find. The other fruits - raspberries, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries - depend on the individual taste, but there is one rule of thumb: you should include at least one tart fruit. There are also several ways to top Rote Grütze: with vanilla sauce, whipped cream, cream, vanilla ice cream, cream of wheat/semolina pudding or just milk.
Course Dessert
Servings 6


For the fruit pudding:

  • 2 lbs mixed berries fresh or frozen
  • pitted cherries washed and picked over
  • 1/4 cup bottled fruit syrup or good fruit juice (raspberry, strawberry, or another fruit you are using)
  • sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

For the vanilla sauce:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste


For the pudding:

  • Bring the blueberries and cherries to a boil in a large saucepan until they pop or release their juice. Hull the strawberries and cut very large ones into quarters. Add the more delicate fruit like strawberries and raspberries last. Stir in the syrup and sugar to taste.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in at least 1/4 cup cold water. Remove the pan from the heat, stir the cornstarch into the fruit mixture, and cook briefly over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Make sure not to undercok the pudding, otherwise it will taste chalky. When the pudding turns clear and thickens, remove the pan from the heat immediately. Continue stirring for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour the hot pudding into a glass serving bowl or individual dessert bowls. To prevent the glass from cracking when you pour the hot pudding into it, put a damp dishtowel underneath the bowl. Refrigerate for several hours until set. Serve the pudding cold, but take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving, so it can develop its full flavor.

For the vanilla sauce:

  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch. Add the milk and vanilla. If using a vanilla bean, slit it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife, and add the bean and the seeds to the mixture. Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens, whisking constantly. Mare sure that the sauce does not boil. Remove vanilla bean, if using. Refrigerate. Stir the sauce before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Nadia Hassani, Spoonfuls of Germany