Queen of Puddings

This is a very British recipe and uses the “Pudding” term as they do meaning “Dessert”. It’s rather easy but you have to be comfortable making meringue. Still, it’s delicious and a show-stopper.

2 cups milk
2 tbsp butter, plus extra for the dish
1 lemon, zested
1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
3 tbsp + 1 cup sugar (divided use) – if you have superfine sugar, use that
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
6-8 tbsp jam (Any flavor you like. Raspberry is traditional)

Warm the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat until simmering, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar. Leave to soak for 30 mins until the crumbs have absorbed the liquid and cooled.

Heat the oven to 350F. Butter a medium-large baking or pie dish. Once the breadcrumb mixture has cooled, stir in the egg yolks and pour into the baking dish. Bake for 30 mins until the mixture has set, similar to a custard. Warm the jam in a small saucepan over a low heat to loosen, then spread this over the base. It should be a thin layer, so you may need less jam if your dish is deeper. Reduce the oven temperature to 320F.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks in a clean bowl using an electric whisk, or stand mixer. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup sugar, a little at a time, until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is glossy and stands upright. (Note: If you can find superfine sugar, this makes a wonderful meringue.) Spoon or pipe the meringue over the jam layer and bake for another 20-30 mins until the meringue is golden and set. Best served warm.