Queen of Puddings
This traditional British dessert is a bit like Manchester pudding (a brandied bread pudding with egg yolks) or Monmouth pudding (topped with tart berries or seasonal fruit). This authentic British dessert is made by topping a breadcrumb-thickened mixture with jam and then meringue. Various forms of sweet puddings date back to the mid-1600s, and bread soaked in milk is a key ingredient in many of them. We are using raspberry jam in our topping, although some people prefer to use blackcurrant jam. On top of that is a creamy layer of meringue which can be artistically piped or rustically spread on top.
This dessert might look rich and heavy, but you will find it is delicate, light and elegant. Although you might associate meringue and fruit desserts with the warmer months, the queen of puddings is served hot from the oven. You can serve some cream on the side if you like. You do not need a lot of different ingredients to make this dessert – just butter, milk, sugar, breadcrumbs, eggs, lemon, and jam, for the perfect balance.
So if you are looking for some culinary inspiration and you want to make something authentically British, bow down to the queen of puddings because the flavours are certain to wow you and your dinner guests. This old-fashioned British dessert, which is still very popular, is simple to prepare and it goes beautifully after any kind of main course. Our recipe serves 6 people (or 4 very hungry ones!)
- ¾ oz (25g) butter, plus more for greasing
- 1¼ cups (285ml) whole milk
- 3½ oz (100g) white sugar
- 3 oz (85g) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- Zest and juice of a fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
- Double cream or whipped cream, to serve
- Put the butter, milk and a tablespoon of sugar in a pan.
- Bring the mixture almost to a boil, stirring from time to time.
- Now put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and pour the hot milk mixture over them.
- Let them soak for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Grease an 8-inch (20cm) round pie dish or 4-cup (1 litre) capacity oval or square dish.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
- Beat the yolks lightly.
- Stir the lemon zest and juice into the breadcrumb mixture.
- Add the egg yolks to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Now you can pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until firmly set.
- Take the dish out of the oven and let the pudding cool down.
- Leave the oven on though.
- Warm the jam up a bit in a pan, then spread it over the pudding.
- Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the rest of the sugar.
- Keep whisking until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
- Pipe or spread the meringue mixture over the jam.
- Now bake the dessert for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Serve hot, with cream.
The next time you want to make something fit for royalty, consider this queen of puddings recipe. Desserts similar to this one have been popular in Britain for hundreds of years, and it is ideal for any season, although this is typically served hot from the oven, so it is nice to follow up a British stew or meat-based main course. The zingy lemon, juicy berries and soft, sweet meringue topping are amazing, and you will want to make this queen of puddings again in the future because it is so good.
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