Queen of puddings

Richard Phillips tops creamy custard with a billowy meringue topping in his terrific take on the most royal of classic English puddings
By Richard Phillips
Queen of puddings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the Italian meringue topping

  • 8 egg whites
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml water

For the pudding

  • 200 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 large lemon zest
  • 600 ml milk
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam, good quality


1. To make the Italian meringue, put the caster sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and boil until pale, thick and syrupy. 2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then gradually add the boiling sugar syrup in a thin stream, whisking continuously until the meringue is cold. It can then be stored in the fridge until needed. 3. Set the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Place the breadcrumbs, vanilla sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. 4. Bring the milk and butter almost to the boil and take off the heat. Stir into the breadcrumbs and leave for 10 minutes. 5. Beat the egg yolks and add to the breadcrumbs. 6. Lightly butter an ovenproof serving dish with a capacity of 1.5 litres. Pour the breadcrumb mixture in and bake for 45 minutes until lightly set. Remove from the oven, leave for three minutes. 7. Cut into individual rounds using a small pastry cutter and gently spread a tablespoon of jam over the top of each one (be careful not to break the surface skin). 8. Pile some of the Italian meringue mixture over the top of the compote and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar over. Use a blowtorch to glaze and lightly cook the meringue. Decorate with fresh mint and serve hot with lashings of extra thick cream

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