Today, 23 April, is St George's Day. St George is the patron saint of England, and 23 April is the date of his death. It is also celebrated as Shakespeare's Day to celebrate the birth and death of William Shakespeare. Keeping with the English theme, it was Queen Elizabeth II's 86th birthday on Saturday. Putting all of these together, I thought it would be most appropriate if I made that most English of puddings to celebrate today, Queen of Puddings.
Queen of Puddings is comprised of a baked egg custard with breadcrumbs, topped with a layer of raspberry jam, then topped with fluffy meringue. It is meant to be enjoyed warm from the oven.
I am a fan of custard of all varieties, so I loved this - it is the perfect treat for the rather chilly night that we are having.
There are many different recipes for Queen of Puddings, but I used 1/4 of the recipe from the Great British Book of Baking. If you would like to try it, the pudding for one recipe (slightly adapted by me) is as follows:
150ml milk (I used low fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla (they used a vanilla pod for their grander scale version)
1 tablespoon butter (I used reduced fat margarine)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon white sugar
25g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon strawberry jam (I used raspberry jam)
1 egg white
25g white sugar
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a one cup ramekin (or spray with oil, as I did).
Put the milk into a small saucepan with the vanilla, and heat until the milk is steaming (not boiling). Remove the milk from the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes to steep in the vanilla flavour.
Put the egg yolk into a small bowl with the lemon zest and sugar, and beat until creamy. Stir in the milk, drizzling it in slowly while constantly stirring so that you don't cook the yolk. Stir in the breadcrumbs, then pour the custard into the ramekin, and leave standing for 15 minutes.
Place the ramekin into the oven and bake for ~ 30 minutes or until the custard is set. Remove the ramekin from the oven and leave it stand for at least 5 minutes. Spread the jam over the top of the custard. Beat the egg white until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Pile the meringue on top of the jam, and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the top is crunchy and golden brown. Serve warm from the oven.
Enjoy! Happy St George's Day to those in England.