Similar to trifle, Queen of Puddings is a nostalgic dessert loved for its creamy baked base and contrasting top layers.
Finished with piped meringue, the dish looks almost too extravagant to make from scratch, but it’s easily done with Mary Berry’s recipe.
The British baker follows a traditional approach to making Queen of Puddings, using a mixture of custard, cake and jam topped with a “soft, chewy meringue”.
Making the “retro” treat doesn’t take long either, in fact, it can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.
Just a handful of affordable ingredients are required, all of which can be found in a local supermarket.
Start by preheating the oven to 170C and grease a 1.4-litre shallow ovenproof dish with butter.
To make the base, gently warm the milk in a small saucepan then add 25g of butter, 50g of caster sugar and the lemon zest. Stir until the ingredients are dissolved then move onto the eggs.
Separate the eggs into whites and yolks then pour the latter into a bowl. Whisk while slowly pouring in the warm milk mixture and continue to do so until the liquid is light and fluffy.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the base of the buttered dish and pour over the custard mixture. Leave to stand for 15 minutes to allow time for the breadcrumbs to absorb the liquid.
Carefully transfer the dish to a roasting tin and fill the tin halfway with hot water. Bake the custard base in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the mixture is set, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
If making the jam from scratch, rather than a jam, combine the mixed summer fruits into a pan and warm over a gentle heat. Once they’ve softened and released their juice, add 200g of caster sugar and cook for a further three minutes. Continue to heat the mixture until it forms a jam-like consistency – this may take longer if using frozen berries.
Make the meringue topping by whisking the egg whites with an electric whisk at full speed. Stiff peaks should form when it’s ready, at which point the remaining 175g of caster sugar can be added one teaspoon at a time. Transfer into a piping bag and set aside.
Spread five tablespoons of the fruit jam over the set custard base then pipe the meringue on top. Lower the oven temperature to 150C and return the pudding to the oven (not in the roasting tin with water) for about 25 minutes until the meringue is “pale golden all over and crisp”. Serve at once with pouring cream.