Delia

Individual Queen of Puddings

I think this works well and looks very pretty in individual dishes if you're serving it for a special occasion. Otherwise you can make one large pudding in an oval or round dish, about 2 pints (1.2 litres) capacity. Use a really good jam with a high fruit content. I use Sainsbury's Morello cherry preserve, which is excellent.


Serves 6

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.

Individual Queen of Puddings
Ingredients
 1 pint (570 ml) milk
 ½ oz (10 g) butter
 4 oz (110 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
 2½ oz (60 g) caster sugar, plus 1 level teaspoon extra
 grated zest 1 small lemon
 3 eggs
 3 level tablespoons Morello cherry preserve or another preserve
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
Equipment
You will also need six 6 fl oz (175 ml) individual oven-proof dishes, all generously buttered and placed on a baking sheet.

Method

First pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, breadcrumbs, 1 oz (25 g) sugar and the lemon zest and leave for 20 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to swell.

Now separate the eggs. Put the whites into a large, grease-free bowl and the yolks into a small bowl. Then beat the yolks and add them to the cooled breadcrumb mixture, after that divide it between the individual dishes, smoothing the tops.

Now place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until set. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt the preserve over a low heat and, when the puddings are ready, remove them from the oven and spread it carefully and evenly all over the tops.

Next use a clean, dry whisk to beat the egg whites to the stiff-peak stage, then whisk in 1½ oz (40 g) caster sugar and then divide this meringue mixture between each pudding, piling it up into high peaks. 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. Don't worry if they're ready before you've finished the main course; they won't mind waiting in a warm place.

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