individual queen of puddings

We've been in lock down in Sydney for a very long time. As part of my self care routine, I made the decision to prepare myself nice evening meals and some times that meal includes a pudding.

I normally avoid puddings and have fruit and yoghurt for dessert but these are strange times. In a recent column for the Guardian, I found a Nigel Slater for a queen of pudding which had a layer of citrus curd rather than the traditional berry jam. 

I think I last made a queen of pudding when I was about 16. It's a traditional British pudding - egg custard thickened with fresh breadcrumbs or cake crumbs, topped with jam then a layer of frothy toasted meringue.

Apart from the cream, I had everything else I needed to make the pudding. I turned to a British stalwart, Delia Smith, for the base recipe which I then adapted. The citrus curd layer sounded like a great idea but so did the jam, so instead of a single pudding I made 4 individual puddings. I split the difference and I made 2 puddings with jam and 2 with the curd. I used homemade raspberry jam that was already in the fridge and made a small batch of lemon curd but of course you can use good quality shop bought.


Here's the recipe for you which I adapted from a Delia Smith recipe. The recipe makes 4 small puddings but you could also make one larger pudding. The larger pudding may take a little longer to set. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Individual Queen of Puddings - makes 4 
190mls full fat milk
190mls cream
10g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
35g (2 tbs) caster sugar
grated rind 1 small lemon
2 eggs
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
35g (2 tbs) caster sugar, plus 1 level teaspoon extra
½ cup berry jam or lemon curd
Lemon curd
1 egg
50g caster sugar
80mls fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
Pinch salt
45 g unsalted butter, chopped at room temperature
Microwave lemon curd
Whisk the egg, sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and salt in a microwave-safe glass bowl until combined. Cook on low in the microwave for 3-4 minutes stirring every minute, or until a smooth, thick curd forms.

Sieve the curd to remove any eggy bits and lemon rind. Set aside to cool a little before stirring in the unsalted butter. Allow the curd to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container. 
Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, breadcrumbs, 35g caster sugar and the lemon rind and leave for 20 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to swell.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease four 175 ml individual oven-proof dishes with butter and place on a baking tray. 
Separate the eggs. Put the whites into a large, grease-free bowl and the yolks into a small bowl. Beat the yolks and add them to the cooled breadcrumb mixture then divide the mixture evenly between the individual dishes, smoothing the tops. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 180°C until just set.
Meanwhile, if using jam, melt it in a small saucepan over a low heat. You can also do this step in the microwave. Omit this step if using a citrus curd. When the puddings are cooked, remove them from the oven and spread the jam or curd carefully and evenly all over the tops. You’ll need about 1-2 tbs of jam or curd per pudding. Beat the egg whites to the stiff-peak stage, then whisk in the additional 35g caster sugar to form a meringue.
Divide this meringue mixture evenly between each pudding, piling it up into high peaks or you can pipe the meringue if you prefer. To pipe the meringue, spoon the meringue into a piping bag with a 1.5 cm nozzle. Pipe the meringue over the puddings working from the outside-in, until the jam is completely covered. Finally, sprinkle a teaspoon of caster sugar over the tops of the puddings and bake for a further 10-15 minutes on the centre shelf again until the tops are golden brown.
Ideally serve while warm but they reheat well in the microwave on a medium to low setting.
It was nice revisiting an old favourite and discovering both versions were equally delicious.
Anyway, see you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now,


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