Recipe: Summer Pudding
1¼ kg mixed berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and redcurrants
200g caster sugar
8 slices day-old bread, from a sliced sandwich loaf
Pouring cream, to serve
1 Wash the fruit gently and pat dry using kitchen paper towels. You can combine all the fruit except the strawberries, which must be kept separate in a bowl.
2 Place the sugar and about 3 tablespoons of water in a large pan set over a moderate heat. Stir intermittently until the sugar dissolves, and bring to the boil.
3 Add all the berries (except the strawberries) to the pan and lower the heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring gently a few time, so that all the berries are coated in the syrup, the colour of the berries is released and the fruit has softened.
4 Strain the juice from the mixture into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve, reserving the berries in the sieve.
5 Line a large pudding basin with 2 or 3 large strips of clingfilm, pulling it slightly longer over the edge so that the wrap hangs generously over the edge. They should cross over one another at the base to hold the pudding and make it easier for you to turn out once it’s done.
6 Cut the crusts off the bread and reserve for breadcrumbs in another recipe. Cut 4 slices in half, 2 slices into triangles and leave 1 slice whole.
7 Dip the whole slice of bread briefly into the berry juice so that it slightly absorbs the juice and is coated on all sides. Place it into the bottom of the pudding basin.
8 Now take the rectangular pieces and dip them into the juice the same way. Press them into the sides of the basin to make the walls of the dish, fitting together neatly with no gaps. Trim the pieces if necessary so that they fit.
9 Place the softened fruit inside the bread casing using a spoon, scattering the strawberries inside in between spoonfuls so that they are evenly distributed.
10 Dip the bread triangles in the juice and place on top of the pudding to seal the berries, trimming any excess. Reserve the juice.
11 Bring the clingfilm up from the edges and loosely seal over the top. Place a side plate on top and weigh down with a weight such as a few cans of tinned vegetables.
12 Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours or, for best results, overnight.
13 To serve, open out the clingfilm, placing a serving plate on top of the basin.
14 Turn the pudding upside down on top and flip over.
15 Drizzle the reserved juice over the top of the pudding and serve with cream.