Queen of puddings

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Queen of puddings is a real retro British dessert, starring layers of creamy custard, raspberry jam and deliciously toasted Italian meringue on top. Named so due to the 'crown' of meringue piped on top, you'd better brush up on your piping skills to ensure a show-stopping dessert!

This recipe is taken from Bread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker by Matthew Jones (£26, Hardie Grant).

First published in 2022

Matthew Jones says 'This is an opportunity to excel in piping and presentation. I like to whip the meringue to very stiff peaks so that the topping of the pudding can be very spiky like the points of a crown. It is opulent and decadent as a dessert, yet made with very humble ingredients.'





Cheat's filling



  • Piping bag and nozzle



Preheat the oven to 150°C fan/350°F/gas 4). Grease an ovenproof dish or a deep 25-cm (10-in) cake tin with butter


For the custard, add the milk and lemon zest to a saucepan set over a medium heat and warm to scalding point (just below boiling). Add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine, then remove from the heat

  • 550g of whole milk
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 70g of fresh breadcrumbs

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Pour over the hot milk and whisk to combine. Pour the custard into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until just set– it can have a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool 


Meanwhile, make the cheat’s filling. Add the jam and raspberries to a saucepan, set over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, leave the filling mixture to thicken, then remove from the heat and leave to cool


Meanwhile, make the meringue. Place a clean heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Add the egg whites and half of the sugar to the bowl and whisk vigorously to stiff peaks


Remove from the heat, add the remaining sugar and continue to whisk for several minutes until the meringue becomes very glossy and thick. Transfer to a piping bag, if wished


Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Pour the cooled raspberry filling over the cooked custard base, then pipe or spoon the meringue over the raspberry layer. It’s important that the custard and jam layers are fairly cool, as you don’t want to melt the uncooked meringue


Place the meringue-topped pudding under the hot grill and cook for about 5–8 minutes until the meringue is crisp and browned all over. Keep a close eye on it. Allow to cool slightly before serving

First published in 2022

Matthew Jones is the founder and owner of Bread Ahead.

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