Saturday 1 December 2012

Queen of Puddings

Truly a great British classic!
Over the past few months, the Best of British challenge has chosen a particular part of the UK - including Scotland, London and Devon - and invited us to submit a recipe from that area. For the grand final, Fiona at London Unattached has challenged us to enter our overall Best of British dish. So I wanted something that wasn't necessarily specific to one town or county, but that was resoundingly British and ideally a classic. I also wanted to make something sweet as I have made a few savoury recipes for this challenge and wanted to end on a dessert, cake or pudding.

So I give to you... Mary Berry's Queen of Puddings. This is my Best of British entry because:
- It's a traditional British dessert also known as Monmouth Pudding and Manchester Pudding
- The name also brings to mind our royal heritage
- The recipe comes from Mary Berry, who is something of a British classic herself!
- The standard uses breadcrumbs and jam which are typical English ingredients.
- However, I don't like jam so didn't want to use it; instead I used a layer of lime curd. English people are sometimes known as "limeys", a name that originally comes from sailors adding lime juice to their food to prevent scurvy, but is now a slang term particularly in America. So I would say lime curd adds a further British slant to this pudding!

I used this Mary Berry recipe and adapted it slightly.

First you make the custard, by heating the milk with the butter, lemon or lime zest and 50g of the sugar, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Separate the eggs and gently whisk the yolks in a bowl and then gradually whisk in the milk and butter mixture.

Make the bread into breadcrumbs - you can do this in a food processor but my mum, who was helping out in the kitchen, decided to do it by hand.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the base of the buttered dish. Pour over the custard and leave to stand for about 15 minutes so the breadcrumbs can absorb the liquid. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 C/325 F/gas 3.

Put the dish in a large roasting tin and pour hot water in the tin so it comes half way up the sides of your pudding dish, and bake for 25-30 mins.

Allow to cool, and turn down the oven temperature to 150 C/300 F/gas 2. At this point in the recipe Mary Berry gives instructions to make your own jam; even if I was using jam instead of lime curd I don't think I would have made my own! Far too time consuming I fear...

So once the base was cooled, I spread an entire jar of Tesco Finest lime curd on top.

Put the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until stiff. Whisk in the remaining sugar a teaspoon at a time, to make a very stiff and glossy meringue. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag fitted with the plain or star tube.

Pipe the meringue over the top. Mine was a little too soft to pipe into the swirly patterns in the Mary Berry picture, but I still like the way it looks.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the meringue is pale golden and crisp.

My Queen of Puddings was delicious, though with the lime curd it reminded me more of a lemon meringue pie - but the breadcrumb base was a nice change. I really liked this and think it is definitely up there among the Best of British puddings!

So I am sending this to Best of British for their grand final. The challenge is hosted by Fiona of London Unattached and is sponsored by New World Appliances.

I'm updating this post to enter this month's Alphabakes challenge, as the letter I have chosen this month is Q.


  1. Absolutely beautiful! I love it. I've never made this but saw Mary Berry make it on TV and thought it was defo something that should be made. You've done a glorious job of it.

  2. Mmmmmm, might have to try one of those...

  3. You've certainly hit the nail right on the head with an absolute classic British pud! I just imagine Her Majesty tucking into this, her namesake, every single night of the year...

  4. I actually like jam but your way with lime curd has my taste buds tingling!

  5. it tasted realy good-mum.

  6. Thank you for adding this classic also to Bloggers Around the World this month.


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