Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lemon Queen of Puddings

This is one of those classic, old-fashioned puddings that is just so delicious to eat. I have previously given my recipe for mini queen of puddings which use raspberry jam, but as I had some homemade lemon curd hanging around, I decided to use that instead. Whilst I love the more traditional version of the pudding, I felt that the lemon curd really added that something extra. Yes, I love anything lemony, but it was more than that… I think the slight sourness of the lemons balanced out the sweetness of the meringue and custard far more effectively.
 
To be honest, there’s not much else I can say about this dessert, other than to say that it was really tasty and one that I will be making regularly in the future. For me, it is one of those puddings that could be served in either summer or winter and is hugely adaptable. If liked a pinch of ground ginger could be used in the custard to add a little bit of warmth on the palate. Lemon and ginger is one of those classic food pairings and is often seen in both sweet and savoury dishes. It also happens to be one of my favourite taste combinations and one that can be employed to good effect to ‘cut through’ the richness of other elements in a recipe.

I like to serve these puddings once they have cooled slightly and are still slightly warm.
 

Ingredients:

Custard:
300ml cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
25g caster sugar
65g fresh white breadcrumbs
15g butter
2 egg yolks
To finish:
200g good quality lemon curd, preferably homemade
2 egg whites
115g caster sugar
 

Method:

Custard:
1. Place the cream, lemon zest and caster sugar in a small saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the cream has warmed but has not boiled. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix well to thoroughly combine.
2. Divide this mixture between 4 small oven proof dishes (about 250ml capacity) and place on a baking sheet. Allow to stand while the oven is preheating. Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan Oven 150C/Gas Mark 3.
3. When the oven has preheated place the custards into the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes until just set. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 190C/Fan Oven 170C/Gas Mark 5.
To finish:
4. Using a hand-held electric mixer beat the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
5. Spread the lemon curd over the top of each custard, dividing it equally.
6. Place the meringue into a disposable piping bag and pipe on top of the lemon curd topped custard. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the meringue is golden. Serve.
 
Serves 4.