Makes 6 portions
8 slices hearty white bread, several days old
2 lb mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries) ½ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
sprigs of mint for garnish
1 two pint pudding basin or soufflé case
Prepare the fruit by stoning and halving the cherries, destalking the redcurrants and blackcurrants and hulling and quartering the strawberries keeping each type of fruit separate at this stage.
In a large heavy based pan add the cherries, water, vanilla paste and sugar over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the cherries simmer until they start to soften. Add the strawberries and blackberries and stir, simmer for a further two to three minutes and then add the blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and finally the raspberries. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the fruit. Strain into a colander and keep the liquid.
Cut the crusts off the bread and cut a circle using one slice of the bread that will fit the bottom of the basin. Dip it into the reserved liquid and into the pudding basin. Next cut the remaining bread into half and line the pudding basin dipping the bread into the sauce first and overlapping each piece slightly. Reserve two pieces of bread for the top.
Once the basin is completely lined, spoon the fruit into the center and fill to the top. Place the two remaining pieces of bread on top of the fruit and place a saucer that fits snugly inside the basin on top of the bread. Weigh down the top of the pudding by placing something like a large tin of vegetables on top of the saucer and refrigerate over night along with the remaining juices.
Run a spatula around the edges of the pudding and invert onto a serving plate. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and allow it to run down the sides. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with whipped cream.