Queen of Puddings Recipe – A Taste of Victorian England
The Queen of Puddings with its unmistakable volume of delicious meringue on top, is probably one of the lightest and most classic traditional British puddings that you will come across. This staunch dessert dates back to Victorian times and is a firm favourite for people who delight in the simple textures and flavours that only this type of pudding can offer.
This recipe serves 4 large portions, or 6 smaller ones and is inexpensive to make from using the most basic of kitchen ingredients which adds to the appeal and simplicity of this dish.
One pint (570 ml) milk
Half an ounce (10 g) butter
Four ounces (110 g) fresh white breadcrumbs (stale breadcrumbs work too)
Two ounces (50 g) golden caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
The grated zest of 1 medium unwaxed lemon (Use a large lemon if you prefer a stronger citrus tang)
Two large eggs
Five tablespoons strawberry jam (seedless is preferred)
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
You will also need a 1½ pint (850 ml) oval or round oven dish.
To start with, add all of the milk into a saucepan and bring it to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, breadcrumbs, One oz (25 g) of the sugar and the lemon zest, and leave for 20 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to soak up the milk properly.
At this stage, separate the eggs and gently beat the yolks and combine them with the cooled breadcrumbs. Now pour the mixture into your dish and spread it out evenly using the back of a wooden spoon. Place the dish into your oven for around 30 minutes or so until the pudding has set properly.
In a small copper saucepan melt the strawberry jam over a gentle heat and, when the pudding is ready, remove it from the oven and cover the entire top of the pudding very carefully with the jam.
Now, take your hand or electric whisk and gently beat the egg whites in a large clean bowl until it starts to form stiff peaks and then whisk in 1 oz of the caster sugar and spoon the meringue mixture over the pudding base.
Finally, sprinkle the teaspoon of caster sugar over it all and bake for a further 10 minutes or so until the topping is a nice golden colour. Take care not to blacken the meringue.
If you are pushed for time, the pudding can be prepared up to 24 hours before by allowing the pudding mixture to cool properly. Once cooled, cover with clingfilm and place the pudding in your fridge. You can then bake the meringue prior to serving.
The Queen of Puddings is best served piping hot straight to the table.
Note: Sometimes this pudding is referred to as “King of Puddings” and contains raspberry jam instead of strawberry.