Queen of puddings

Queen of puddings

More Home Comforts
Peter Cassidy

This is a traditional British dessert that you don’t often see nowadays, which is sad, as it’s very, very simple to make. It has a basic custard mixture as its base, which is spread with jam, topped with meringue, then baked.


Quantity Ingredient
unsalted butter, for greasing
225ml milk
225ml double cream
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
5 eggs, separated
300g caster sugar
150g fresh breadcrumbs
2 lemons, zest only
250g plum jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Butter a medium-sized ovenproof dish and place it in a large roasting tin.
  2. Heat the milk, cream and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan until just simmering. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks and 100g of the sugar into a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly pour the hot milk and cream onto the eggs, whisking all the time, then fold in the breadcrumbs and lemon zest.
  3. Pour the mixture into the buttered dish, then pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the dish. Place the roasting tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes until the custard is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then turn the oven up to 190°C.
  4. Make sure the bowl and whisk you are using for the next step are very clean, free of grease and dry, as any water or grease will affect the meringue. Place the egg whites in the bowl and whisk with a food mixer or an electric whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Add all but one spoonful of the remaining sugar and whisk until shiny and smooth.
  5. Warm the jam in a saucepan until just melted, then spoon over the top of the custard. Spoon the meringue over the jam, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the top is crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
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