Queen of puddings

December 16, 2016


  • 140 gm fresh fine breadcrumbs, from white bread
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 225 ml each milk and pouring cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • For greasing: butter
  • Berry jam
  • 500 gm strawberries, trimmed and quartered
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm (½ cup) frozen raspberries
  • Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon

Note: To test setting point, place a few saucers in the freezer while jam is cooking. Remove jam from heat and spoon onto a cold saucer, return to freezer for 30 seconds, then push with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, cook jam for another few minutes, test again, remove from heat and set aside to cool.


  1. For berry jam, combine ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and stir frequently until mixture reaches setting point (20-30 minutes; see note), then set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Combine breadcrumbs, lemon rind and 40gm sugar in a heatproof bowl, set aside.
  3. Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds just to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, pour onto breadcrumb mixture and stir, then stand until breadcrumbs swell (3-5 minutes).
  4. Remove vanilla bean and discard, then stir in yolks until well combined. Spoon into 4 buttered 200ml ovenproof dishes and bake until custard just sets (12-15 minutes). Keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-5 minutes).
  6. Gradually add remaining sugar in a steady stream, whisking continuously until stiff and glossy and sugar has dissolved (3-5 minutes).
  7. Spread a very thin layer of berry jam over puddings (remaining jam will keep for 1 month), top with meringue and bake until golden (5-10 minutes).
  8. Serve hot.

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