For this dessert, traditionally called summer pudding, vary your berries according to what looks best, but always include raspberries. Because the sweetness of fresh fruit fluctuates, don't follow the amount of sugar blindly. Taste as you go. A dense white sandwich loaf such as Thomas' English Muffin Toasting Bread or Pepperidge Farm Toasting White Bread is crucial; other packaged white breads may turn slimy.
Servings: Serves 8
  • 3 cups raspberries , plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sugar , or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries or blueberries or black currants (or any combination of the three), stems removed, plus more for garnish
  • 1 loaf firm white bread , sliced
  • Mint sprigs , for garnish (optional)
  • Whipped cream or creme fraiche or clotted cream
  • Directions
    Place raspberries in a stainless steel saucepan; add 4 tablespoons sugar. Toss gently to combine. Bring to a boil. Taste (carefully—they're hot), and add more sugar if necessary. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until berries begin to burst and yield more of their juice. In a separate saucepan, combine blackberries, blueberries, and/or black currants; add 4 tablespoons sugar. Toss gently and bring mixture briefly to a boil, as instructed above. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary.

    Remove crusts from bread slices. Using a downturned cup as a template, cut one slice in a circle and place it at the bottom of a three-quart ceramic or glass bowl. Line bottom and sides of bowl with remaining bread slices, cutting some in half or into shapes as needed to cover any gaps where fruit could run out. Do not overlap. Put a layer of raspberry mixture in, then a layer of blackberry mixture, alternating until both are gone, reserving 1/3 cup raspberry juice. The bowl should be filled with fruit almost to the rim.

    Cover top with remaining bread slices and press down until they absorb the juices. Cover with a saucer or plate that has a diameter just smaller than the diameter of the bowl, so that the plate fits just inside the bowl. Weight the plate with a heavy can. Alternatively, place pudding in refrigerator and wedge an object snugly between the refrigerator rack and the top of the plate so that it pushes down on the pudding, achieving the same result as the weight. Refrigerate overnight.

    About 15 minutes before serving, remove pudding from refrigerator. Remove can and plate. Using a flexible, dull-edged knife or spatula, loosen bread around edges of bowl. Cover bowl with a serving plate and, holding the plate in place, turn the pudding upside down. The bread should have turned a deep ruby red. If there are any light patches, pour reserved raspberry juice over them. Garnish with fresh berries and mint sprigs, if you like. Serve with whipped cream, crème fraîche, or clotted cream on the side.


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