By Linnet Good

The most delicious and festive dessert for summer, this traditional English pudding is perfect for an Australian, hot weather Christmas celebration. It’s very easy – but you’ll need to make it at least a day ahead.

Serves 8

1 1/4 kg mixed fresh or frozen berries of your choice. Use raspberries, blackberries,
loganberries, youngberries, blueberries. Strawberries are not traditional, but can
certainly be used if you wish.

100 g red currants
100 g caster sugar
1 loaf day-old white bread, sliced
extra berries for garnish
whipped cream to serve

In a saucepan, stir to dissolve sugar in 3 tbsp water over gentle heat. Bring to a simmer,
then tip in the berries (leave strawberries out if using). Cook for no more than 3 minutes
over a gentle heat, until berries are softened but mostly intact. Put a sieve over a bowl
and tip the berries into it. Keep the juice.

Cut the crusts off the bread and line a pudding bowl with the slices, butting the edges
together. Fill the triangular gaps with pieces of bread that you cut to shape.
Gently spoon in the berries, adding the strawberries as you go, if using. You can fill
halfway and put another layer of bread if you wish, then fill with the rest of the berries.
Place a final layer of bread on the top. Pour some of the reserved juice over the pudding
and let it soak in.

Find a side plate that fits inside the top of the bowl, and put it onto the pudding. Weight
the plate down (use a few cans of beans or something) and place the whole thing in the
refrigerator for around 6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve up, take the weights and plate off, and put a serving platter
on the bowl. Holding the platter to the bowl, carefully invert and remove the bowl. Pour
the reserved juice all over the pudding and serve with extra berries and whipped cream.