When the prices of store bought berries drop everywhere after Christmas (nice how that happens) and when the red currants are ready in our garden, it’s time to make our favourite summer desert. After making a few we’ve got much more relaxed about sizes and worrying less about what berries we use, (and especially how long we wait before we eat the result. Chill overnight? Hah!) We have to buy white bread just for this dish, usually we’re eating sourdough, wholemeal etc. The last one we made we didn’t use a good firm sliced bread, and it went a bit gooey. It’s fast, easy and looks really impressive when you turn it out.

And it tastes even better the next day if there are leftovers. Don’t wait for guests, make one now.

Summer Pudding

(Serves 4 to 6)

125g raspberries
Additional 600g mixed berries (we used blackberries, white and redcurrants and blueberries)
175g castor sugar
8 thick slices white bread, crusts removed (bread with a bit of texture is better than spongy white sliced)

Remove the stalks from the fruit and wash it if necessary. Place with the sugar in a saucepan. Cover and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes or until currants are tender. Drain off the juice, reserving 6 tablespoons. Line a 1 litre pudding basin with some of the bread slices, cutting them to fit neatly.

Spoon in the drained fruit, packing it down well. Pour in the 6 tablespoons of reserved juice. Place the remaining bread on top of the fruit, covering it completely. Cover with a plate or saucer small enough to rest inside the bowl on the pudding itself, and put a heavy weight on top (like a large can of tomatoes). Leave overnight (or for at least 4-5 hours) in the refrigerator. Turn out onto a plate. Serve with cream or, if you’re like us, with King Island yoghurt.