Queen of Puddings Recipe is a traditional British dessert with 3 delicious layers: the base is a bread custard, the middle layer is jam, and the topping is made with fluffy meringues. Such a simple dessert to make, but so amazing, this has been a family-favourite pudding for hundreds of years now.
Once you have a bite of this heavenly dessert you get why it's called queen of puddings. It really is the best pudding you can make with simple ingredients that won't break the bank, but it's posh enough to be served at special occasions too.
Bread puddings have been around for quite some time now, they are more than affordable and large amounts can be baked easily. Take this dessert, it can serve at least 6-8 people, possibly more if you don't go for seconds (or thirds). And trust me, the temptation is huge.
To make the base you only needs some breadcrumbs (fresh are the best, no need to buy them, just blitz up a few slices of bread), milk, eggs and sugar, and any flavouring of your choice: lemon zest or extract seems to be the popular choice, but vanilla, orange or rum can be use succesfully.
The preferred jams are either raspberry or blackberry, but really, just go with whatever you have around, no need to buy anything special just for this dessert. And the meringue is made with the egg whites left from the custard base. Easy, isn't it?
- full-fat milk - skimmed milk does not have enough creaminess to add flavour and texture - semi-skimmed however is better in case you don't have full-fat milk
- butter - either salted or unsalted
- breadcrumbs - fresh, you can either buy them ready made or make your own by blitzing bread in a blender
- granulated sugar
- lemon extract - or lemon juice
- eggs - yolks and whites are used separately
- a pinch of salt
- raspberry jam - or any other jam
Step-by-step photos and instructions
As promised, this dessert is super easy to make even by complete beginners in the kitchen. Start with the custard base:
- pour the milk into a large pan, and bring it to the boil
- remove from the heat, add the butter, sugar, lemon extract and breadcrumbs, and mix well
- leave the mixture to cool down before adding the egg yolks
- mix to incorporate, then bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes or until the custard is set
- heat up the jam to make it easier to spread, then spread it evenly over the custard base
- add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, and beat them with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks
- add the sugar on tablespoon at a time, beating well until you have stiff peaks and a meringue-like consistency
- pipe the meringue mixture over the jam, and return to the oven to bake for a further 7-8 minutes until the top is golden
There isn't much that could go wrong with this recipe, apart from the custard not being baked for long enough, in which case it won't be set well, and the end product will be pretty messy.
So while the base is still slightly jiggly, a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean, and then you know that the eggs have been cooked properly.
For a finer look, a good piping bag fitted with a large nozzle does a great job, but if you don't have one, not to worry, you can cut the end of a freezer bag to decorate with the meringue. Lovely shiny meringue kisses do look pretty, but just decorate the way you can.
I would definitely add it to my afternoon tea menu, it really is the best pudding you can get. Bring on summer!
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Queen of Puddings Recipe
For the custard base
- 600 ml full-fat milk
- 30 g butter
- 150 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 egg yolks
For the middle layer
- 200 g raspberry jam
For the meringue topping
- 3 egg whites
- a pinch of salt
- 60 g granulated sugar
- To make the custard base, bring the milk to a boil, remove from the heat, add the butter, lemon extract and breadcrumbs, and mix well.
- Leave to cool, then add the egg yolks, and mix again.
- Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof dish, and bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes or until the custard is set.
- Heat up the jam to make it easier to spread, and spread it over the baked base.
- For the meringue, add the egg whites to a bowl, and add a pinch of salt too.
- Beat with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks, then add the sugar gradually, beating well until it forms stiff peaks.
- Pipe the meringue over the jam, and return to the oven for a further 7 minutes, until it meringue is golden and set.
- Leave to cool completely before serving.
- If you'd like to see the measurements in CUPS and OUNCES, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients can be adjusted according to the number of servings you need, please click on the number of servings to change it.