Recipe for Summer Pudding topped with mixed berries

850g mixed berries (I combined raspberries, redcurrants, blackberries and a couple of strawberries) – fresh is preferable but frozen works fine too
7-8 slices white bread
3 Tbsp white sugar
3 Tbsp water
Mint leaves and a few extra berries to garnish
cream to serve

How to
Rinse the fruit, remove redcurrants from their stems if necessary, halve large strawberries. Place the fruit in a saucepan over low heat with the sugar and water (reduce the amount of sugar if you like your pudding tart) and bring to a gentle boil. Boil for about 3 minutes, or just until the currants start to purst and release their juice; then turn off the heat.

Slice the bread thickly – about 8mm thick slices. Cut the crusts off the bread and then cut a circle from one of the slices as big as the base of the 1 litre pudding basin you are using. Push this bread disc firmly into the bottom of the pudding basin.

Line the inside of the basin with the remaining pieces of bread, reserving one for the lid. Overlap the pieces of bread and push then together snugly to seal the pudding (I usually wet the overlapping edges to help the bread stick). Once the entire basin is lined, tip the fruit and its juice into the basin, filling it almost to its rim. Lay the remaining slice of bread on top, using offcuts and spare bits to fill in the gaps so that no fruit is showing.

Place the basin on a large plate to catch any escaping juice, then place a small plate on top of the basin snd weigh it down with a heavy weight (I find a tin of baked beans works well!) to put some pressure on the fruit and make the juice soak into the bread. Leave overnight in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve, remove the weight and carefully slide a palette knife around between the basin and the bread (NB – do not tear the bread!). Turn a plate (larger than the circumference of the basin) upside down and place it on top of the basin. Holding the plate and basin firmly in place, turn them quickly upside down and shake to dislodge the pudding – it should come out easily. Serve immediately with plenty of fresh cream.

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