Queen of Puddings with Calvados Cream

Try David Massey's recipe and you'll soon see why this frugal combination of custard, meringue, jam and breadcrumbs is known as the queen of puds
By David Massey
Queen of Puddings with Calvados Cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 60 g lightly salted butter
  • 85 g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large lemon, grated zest only
  • 110 g caster sugar, plus 1 heaped tbsp, plus 1 tsp
  • 600 ml milk
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam

For the calvados cream

  • 125 ml double cream
  • 4 tsp calvados
  • caster sugar, to taste

Tips and Suggestions

Make as much calvados cream as you want and adjust the quantity of calvados and sugar to taste - the quantities given here are just a guide.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 and lightly butter a 1.5 litre shallow ovenproof dish.

2. Put the breadcrumbs, vanilla and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with 1 heaped tablespoon of caster sugar.

3. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter to just below boiling point. Stir the hot liquid into the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes.

4. Beat the egg yolks into the breadcrumb mixture, mixing thoroughly.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared ovenproof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until just firm - the exact time will depend on the depth of the dish. Remember that the custard will continue to cook a little in its own heat so that if the centre looks runny underneath the skin do not feel anxious. Leave the oven on.

6. Warm the jam in a small saucepan so that it becomes more liquid, then sieve it. Spread the melted jam over the pudding being careful not to break the surface.

7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle 55g of caster sugar over the whites then whisk again until slightly satiny. With a metal spoon, fold in the remaining 55g of sugar.

8. Pile the meringue on to the pudding, sprinkle with the extra teaspoonful sugar and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is slightly browned and crisp.

9. Meanwhile, to make the calvados cream, whip the double cream using a balloon whisk. Add the calvados and sugar and whip lightly until the ingredients are incorporated.

10. Serve the pudding hot or warm with plenty of flavoured cream.

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