Queen of Puddings is an old-school British dessert. There’s a custardy layer, a jammy layer, and a meringuey layer, and they all bake together into something absolutely lovely. This easy classic recipe will make you feel like you’re in the English countryside.
This recipe is from my prized, and now complete, collection of Nigella Lawson books, and it’s soooo English. I had never made or eaten anything like this before, and I was skeptical. Thankfully, it turned out great as I was serving it to guests. We all enjoyed it, and I hope you will, too.
Queen of Puddings consists of a layer of breadcrumbs soaked in custard, a layer of your favorite jam, and a layer of fluffy meringue. If you’re like me, you might think it’s weird to dry out brioche, then blitz it to crumbs, then soak it in an egg and milk mixture. How can that be good? I’m not sure how this magic works, but I assure you, it’s awesome.
You’ll also want to be sure to use a flavor of jam that you really like. I experimented with this particular version and used black currant jam, and it wasn’t as good, in my opinion, as the raspberry version. Use what you love.
If anyone knows how Queen of Puddings got it’s name, I’d love to hear about it. We tried to look it up and couldn’t find a satisfactory answer. I promise, you’ll feel very English eating this pudding, and in my book, that’s pretty awesome.
Looking for more classic British treats? Try these Jam Tarts.
Queen of Puddings
150 grams brioche, sliced and stale
50 grams butter, softened
500 ml whole milk
1 lemon for zest and juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 grams caster sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, separated
175 grams of your favorite jam
- Grease a round or oval baking dish with butter and preheat your oven to 170C (350F).
- Blitz your stale brioche in a food processor into bread crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
- Add your milk, butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, 25 grams of your sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small sauce pan. Heat this over medium-low heat just until the butter is melted.
- In a different bowl or measuring jug, whisk your egg yolks, then very slowly, pour over your warm milk mixture, whisking all the while until well combined. Then pour this mixture over your bread crumbs, give it a bit of a stir, and leave it to sit for about 10 minutes to allow your bread to soak up the custard mixture.
- Transfer your bread crumb custard to your baking dish, and bake for about 20 minutes. It should be set on the top, but still wobbly underneath. Remove it from the oven to cool a bit. It will firm up as it stands.
- In a small dish, stir together your jam, and the juice from your lemon to loosen up the jam a bit to make it easier to spread over your baked custard. If it’s still a bit thick, try heating it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk your egg white until peaks form, then slowly whisk in your remaining 100 grams sugar until you have a shiny, stiff meringue. The kind you can hold upside down over your head.
- Ever so gently spread your jam over your slightly cooled custard, trying not to break the surface. It’s not the end of the world if you do. Over the jam layer, spread your meringue, making sure it goes right to the edge. Use a fork or offset spatula to pull up some peaks across the surface.
- Put the whole thing back in the oven until the meringue is bronzed and crisp on top. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe from At My Table by Nigella Lawson.