Sometimes only and old-style pudding will do.
I love Queen of Puddings!
This pudding uses stale breadcrumbs, which are set in a custard which is then baked in the oven until just set... It is then topped with raspberry jam and a meringue made using the egg whites that are left over from making the baked breadcrumb custard. I love recipes that don't leave you with any extra egg whites/yolks and this is one of those recipes.
A very similar pudding, the Monmouth Pudding, was first served in the 17th Century, and an identical pudding, the Manchester Pudding, was popular in the 19th Century. It is said that the pudding was re-named Queen of Puddings when Queen Victoria visited Manchester, tasted the pudding and loved it. The Chef responsible for making the dish decided to re-name it in honour of her.
I have used raspberry jam... because it is my favourite, but feel free to ring the changes and use other types of jam or even stewed seasonal fruit. Stewed apples work really well... and sometimes I even use apple sauce from a jar, left-over from when I cook a roast pork dinner. Basically just try experimenting.
I have served the puddings in individual bowls, but you can make one large pudding...I have given the timings for both versions!
225ml double cream
1tsp vanilla paste
225g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
140g fresh breadcrumbs
Zest of a lemon
200g raspberry jam
Method:1. Preheat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3.
2. Pour the milk and cream into a pan and add the vanilla paste.
3. Bring slowly to the boil over a medium heat and set aside.
4. Whisk half the sugar and the egg yolks in a bowl until light and creamy. Slowly pour the hot milk and cream onto the egg yolk and caster sugar mixture, whisking all the time.
5. Add the breadcrumbs and lemon zest and allow soak for 10 minutes.
6. Place six ovenproof ramekins or glasses into a roasting tin. Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly between the six dishes. If you want to make one larger pudding, use a flattish 1.4 litre oval Pyrex dish and increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes. Pour boiling water into the tin until it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins/glasses or the Pyrex dish.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the puddings are almost set but still a little wobbly in the centre. Remove and cool.
8. Turn oven up to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Place the egg whites in a clean, dry and grease-free bowl and whisk to form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar until you get a thick, glossy meringue, then spoon into a piping bag.
9. Heat the raspberry jam with one tablespoon of water until easier to spread. You do not need to boil it. Spread a little jam onto each of the puddings and then pipe the meringue onto the puddings and bake for 6-8 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. If doing a single, larger pudding, increase time to 15-20 minutes.
10. The puddings can be eaten immediately, but I think they are nicer if allowed to cool slightly or if they are eaten at room temperature.