Queen of puddings
This nursery pud is a classic, and a great way to turn some leftover bread and a few storecupboard staples into a real treat.
Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need six ramekins or individual heatproof glass dishes, 10cm/4in in diameter.
- butter, for greasing
- 75g/2½oz slightly stale white breadcrumbs
- 600ml/1 pint whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- 2 large free-range egg yolks
- 100g/3½oz raspberry jam
For the meringue topping
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter six ramekins or individual heatproof glass dishes, 10cm/4in in diameter.
Divide the breadcrumbs between the ramekins, scattering them evenly.
Put the milk in a saucepan. Add both the vanilla seeds and pod to the saucepan. Slowly bring the milk just to the boil, then remove from the heat.
Whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolks together in a bowl. Pour on the hot milk and whisk well. Strain this into a jug.
Pour the custard into the prepared dishes, dividing it equally.
Stand the dishes in a large roasting dish. Pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the custards are set. Remove from the roasting tin and allow to cool. Discard the hot water. Return the ramekins to the emptied out roasting tin.
If your jam is very stiff, beat it to soften, or heat it slightly. When the custards are cool, spread the jam over them.
For the meringue topping, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk, or using a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment, until they hold stiff peaks when the whisk is removed. Beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time, until you have a fluffy meringue that holds stiff peaks when the whisk is removed.
Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in nozzle and pipe it on top of the jam-topped custards. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until the meringue is light golden-brown. Serve immediately.