Summer pudding

  (Photo by Leonardo Frusteri via Allentown Morning)

Darren McGrady's includes his summer pudding recipe from his book, "Eating Royally." McGrady spent four years working as Princess Diana's personal chef and 11 years cooking for Queen Elizabeth.

Summer pudding

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

2 lbs. mixed berries -- cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red and black currants
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla paste (see note)
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 slices dense white bread, several days old
Sprigs of fresh mint, for garnish
Clotted cream

Prepare the fruit by pitting and halving the cherries, removing stems from the red and black currants, and hulling and quartering the strawberries. Keep each type of fruit separate at this stage.

In a heavy-bottomed 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 2 to 3 minutes and then add the blueberries, red currants, black currants and finally, the raspberries. Remove from the heat, and carefully strain the fruit into a colander, reserving the poaching syrup in a separate bowl.

Cut the crusts off the bread and cut a circle from 1 slice of the bread to fit the bottom of the pudding mold. Dip the bread into the poaching syrup and place it in a 1-quart pudding mold or souffle dish.

Cut all but 2 of the remaining 7 bread slices in half, dip them into the syrup and line the sides of the basin, overlapping each piece slightly.

Once the mold is completely lined, spoon the fruit into the center and fill the basin to the top. Place the 2 remaining pieces of bread on top of the fruit.

Place a saucer that fits snugly inside the mold on top of the bread. Weigh down the top of the pudding by placing something like a large can of tomatoes on top of the sauce. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight, along with any remaining poaching syrup.