The origins of this classic dish are unknown but it has been around since at east the 18th century, when it was served as an alternative to rich pastry sweets.
6-8 slices stale, crust-less white organic bread
600g mixed organic soft fruits
115g caster sugar
Strawberries, raspberries, black cherries and red or black currants are all suitable, but avoid too many black currants as their sharp flavour will dominate the dish. Line the bottom and sides of a pudding basin with 4-6 slices of bread; cut to fit if necessary. Wash the fruit, remove any stones or hulls, and put in a heavy-based pan. Sprinkle with the sugar. Bring to the boil over a low heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar melts and the juices start to run. Remove from the heat and set aside 1-2 tablespoons of juice. Spoon the rest of the fruit and juice into the dish. Cover the surface closely with the rest of the bread. Put a small plate that fits inside the dish on top of the pudding and weigh it down with a heavy jar to push the fruit down into the bread. Chill in the fridge for 8 hours.
To serve, remove the small plate. Cover the top of the dish with a larger serving plate and turn upside down to release the pudding. Use the reserved fruit juice to pour over any parts of the bread that hasn’t soaked up and been coloured by the fruit. Serve with a dollop of cream.