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Saturday, 4 June 2016

Individual Queen of Puddings

A delicious historic bake consisting of three distinct layers of custard, jam and meringue, these individual Queen of Puddings were made to mark HRH the Queen's official birthday

Individual Queen of Pudding recipe made with the classic three layers of custard, jam and meringue

Next Saturday, June 11th, will see HRH the Queen celebrate her official birthday thereby giving her two birthdays each year, her biological birthday being April 21st.  The Telegraph explains that the two-birthday tradition began in 1748 with King George II. 

To me it seemed the perfect reason to bake and the dish which jumped into my mind was the Queen of Puddings.  After all, not only is the name appropriate but it too also has a long history.  GBBO's British Book of Baking, which accompanied the first series, shares a Queen of Pudding recipe which dates from 1669.   The Food Timeline discusses the Queen of Pudding's history and how it compares to Manchester Pudding.



Individual Queen of Pudding recipe made with the classic three layers of custard, jam and meringue

The Queen of Puddings contains three distinct layers: a custard containing bread or cake crumbs, a layer of fruity jam and a crown of delicious meringue.    Never having eaten one of these historic bakes, let alone made one,  I learnt through print and on-line recipes that they are straightforward and require relatively little hands on time.

A warmed milk mixture is poured onto the beaten sugar and eggs before adding bread or cake crumbs.  Having left the custard mixture for a few minutes to allow the crumbs to swell it is then decanted into the prepared ramekins and baked in a water bath. Once set the custard is topped with jam and meringue before baking again to cook the meringue.

Individual Queen of Pudding recipe made with the classic three layers of custard, jam and meringue served with single cream

Although many Queen of Pudding recipes are made in a large dish to be shared amongst guests, they can easily be made individual too.  This not only makes them perfect for dinner parties but also allows you to make as many or as few as you want.  I always think it's nice to have your own individual pudding.  I decided to make 4 Queen of Puddings in our glass ramekin dishes which had been saved from a shop bought GU dessert (it does periodically happen you know!).  The glass ramekins have been really useful allowing me to make all manner of things like these baked eggs which we serve with an asparagus salad.    Not only are the ramekins the perfect size for an individual portion, but the transparent glass allows for the three distinct layers of the Queen of Puddings to be seen when served.   A pot ramekin would also be good if you wanted to keep the filling a surprise.

Individual Queen of Pudding recipe made with the classic three layers of custard, jam and meringue decorated with home-made bunting

I was keen to try our Queen of Pudding, never having eaten one before.  The pudding was delicious with all three of the elements - custard, jam and meringue, working well together.   Although it is undoubtedly nicest eaten warm, as indicated by the recipes I read, the cold at room temperature pudding was also not to passed up.   I certainly won't be leaving it long before I make this easy dessert again!

As these individual Queen of Puddings were made for the Queen's official birthday I topped them with home-made bunting.  I guess you could buy mini bunting similar to this online, but wanting to keep it all homemade I rooted out a few toothpicks, a length of cotton, some PVA glue and a strip of colourful wrapping paper (a glossy magazine would work well too).   Personally I think the bunting really finishes them off, making them perfect for celebrations with family and friends. 




So, let's get to it and bake!


Individual Queen of Puddings    Yum

Individual Queen of Pudding recipe made with the classic three layers of custard, jam and meringue
Yield: 4 individual puddings
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy 
Time: hands on time about 20 minutes; plus 40 - 45 minutes bake time; soaking time 10 - 15 minutes
Freezable: No 


You will need:

4 x Ramekins (ours comfortably held 140ml)
Roasting Tin
Pan
Medium Mixing Bowl
Balloon Whisk
Small Pan
Electric Hand Held Beaters
Pallet Knife
Piping Bag (optional)
Plain Round Nozzle (optional)


For the custard layer

400ml Milk
1 capful Vanilla Extract
15g Butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
2 large Egg Yolks
40g Caster Sugar
1 Lemon, zest of
85g Breadcrumbs or partially stale Cake Crumbs (I used cake crumbs)

For the jam layer

3 tbsp dark Jam, such as Raspberry, Strawberry, or Cherry (I used strawberry)

For the meringue layer

2 Egg Whites
100g Caster Sugar

Serving Suggestion 

Single / Pouring Cream

How to make them:

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 160c / Fan 140c / Gas 3.

2.  Prepare the ramekin dishes.  Use a little butter or margarine to lightly grease the inside of the ramekin dishes.  Wipe the rim of the dishes with a piece of kitchen roll.  Sit the dishes in a roasting tin.

3.  Make the custard layer.   Pour the milk into a pan and add the vanilla and pieces of butter.  Place over a medium heat to melt the butter and allow the milk to warm through.  Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.  Add the lemon zest and mix again.  Remove the warm (but not boiling) milk from the hob and pour over the egg yolk and sugar mixture whilst whisking thoroughly. Add the breadcrumbs / cake crumbs and stir together.  Set aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the crumbs to swell. 

4.  Fill the ramekins.  Spoon the custard mixture into the prepared ramekins, you're aiming for them to be about two-thirds full.  Ensure each ramekin gets its fair share of the bread / cake crumbs.  Pour water into the roasting tin so that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins (I used warm water from the kettle rather than cold or boiling.)

5.  Bake.  Place the roasting tin and ramekins into the centre of the oven.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the custard is just set, with a very slight wobble in the centre.   Remove from the oven and set the ramekins onto a cooling tray.  Empty the water from the roasting tray.

6.  Add the jam.  Place the jam into a small pan and set over a low heat to slacken.  Stir.  Once the jam is ready use a teaspoon to apply the layer onto the custard.  Use the back of the teaspoon to gently smooth it out ensuring that it butts up to the edges of the ramekin, particularly if it is glass.

7.  Make the meringue.  Using a scrupulously clean bowl and beaters (or balloon whisk), beat the egg whites.  Once they have increased in volume and are at the stiff peak stage,  add the sugar 1 teaspoon at a time.   Continue to beat the meringue until all of the sugar has been incorporated.  The meringue will now be glossy and thick.

8.  Top the puddings with meringue.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a nozzle (I used a star nozzle number 199) with the meringue.  Roughly pipe some meringue onto the layer of jam.  Use a pallet knife to smooth it out bringing it level to the top of the ramekins.  Run your finger around the rim of the ramekin to ensure the meringue has created a seal with the dish thus preventing the jam from possibly oozing out during the second bake.  Pipe rosettes on to the puddings.  Alternately, spoon the meringue into the ramekins and create peaks with the back of a knife for a more rustic appearance. 

9.  Bake.  Place the ramekins back into the roasting dish (which contains no water this time) and place in the centre of the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes until the meringue is a pale golden colour.  You may need to rotate the ramekins part way through the bake to achieve an even colour. 

Enjoy, consider serving with single / pouring cream!

Notes:

a)  Ensure the bowl and beaters used for whipping the egg whites are scrupulously clean.
b)  Aim to position the meringue topped ramekins well apart to avoid the meringue sticking to the meringue in neighbouring ramekins.   For the same reason lift the roasting tin carefully to stop the ramekins sliding.
c)  Although I used all of the meringue mixture for the four portions I was left with some custard.  You may be able to make a 5th portion but you will need to be mindful of the amount of meringue each are topped with to ensure each pudding is covered.  












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Queen of Puddings is a delicious historic dessert consisting of three distinct layers of custard, jam and meringue



This post has been shared with: 

 Bake of the Week co-hosted by Helen at Casa Costello and Sarah at Maison Cupcake (this week with Helen)

Inheritance Recipes co-hosted by Solange at  Pebble Soup and Margot at Coffee and Vanilla (this month with Solange)

Treat Petite co-hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.  This month is hosted by CakeyBoi and not only marks the Queen's official birthday but also Gay Pride. 

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup CookBlogShare Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com



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34 comments:

  1. I love these clear ramekins what a good idea thank you for linking to #inheritancerecipes this month

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    1. It seemed such a shame to throw them away Solange - they have been so useful :-) it's the best form of recycling in my book :-)
      Thanks for popping by and of course to hosting,
      Angela x

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  2. ooooh these look very majestic and beautifully presented Angela. Perfect for the Queen's birthday celebrations. They look yummy and i enjoyed reading about their history x

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    1. Aw thank you Jenny :-) I didn't know quite what to expect from them having never tried on before, they really were delicious.
      Thank you for your lovely comment Jenny,
      Angela x

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  3. Oh my these take me back. My mother used to do a fabulous Queen of Puddings when I was a child, I don't think I've had once since. Your look fabulous and very elegant.

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    1. Thank you Choclette :-) It sounds like you had some pretty amazing desserts when you were growing up,
      Thanks for popping by and of course for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  4. It looks truly amazing!! Thank you for sharing with Inheritance Recipes. And those mini buntings are sooo adorable. We make similar ones with washi tapes.

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    1. :-0 Thank you Margot. I really enjoyed making those little strips of bunting, and our cat enjoyed assisting too ;-)
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  5. How very odd, I was thinking of making one of these the other day but have not got round to it yet. It was one of the first recipes I made in Domestic Science at school! Yours look lovely

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    1. Great minds think alike is what I say Alison :-) Ooh i used to love our home economics lessons in school, as we called them. I think the main first thing we made (after making the obligatory plain bun) was pineapple upside down cake. You'll definitely have to make a Queen of Puddings Alison, I'd love to read all about your dessert.
      Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

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  6. Oh, these look so cute!! I love the bunting - what a nice finishing touch. I am also all in favour of individual puddings - it somehow seems more special (and good for portion control too!) and yes I have one or two (OK 10) of those Gu ramekins lurking in my cupboards...not that I've ever eaten any Gu products of course! I have no idea how they got there!! ;-) Eb x

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    1. Thank you Eb :-) I totally agree it certainly does make them seem more special and definitely helps with the portion control. With there just being Mr E & I at home most of the time it can be so easy to make too much and still eat the excess for not wanting to waste anything. The GU pots really do seem to be the perfect size.
      Wow, those GU pots must be quite unique Eb, having either grown legs and just appeared...or perhaps they are fans of Harry Potter and have learnt to aspirate (is that the right word....possibly not but I'm sure you know what I mean)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Eb,
      Angela x

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  7. These are so gorgeous! I was lucky enough to go for tea at Buckingham palace recently and these cakes would have fitted right into the display in the tea tent! I love your bunting too. I made bunting icing once and it looked awful! Wish I'd thought of this. #CookBlogShare

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    1. Oooh wow, you lucky lady! That must have been a fantastic event to have been to. I expect there was row upon row of delicious bakes with reams of bunting everywhere! I've not tried making bunting icing before, but if I did I'm sure it would be loads worse that how you describe your attempt Mandy. My fine piping skills really aren't much to write home about at the moment! The paper made bunting was a lot easier to make, even though our cat came to 'assist'.
      Thanks for your lovely comment Mandy,
      Angela x

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  8. OH how pretty is that bunting. Your recipe is definitely fit for the Queen! I can't eat custard but would completely love all the other ingredients - is that allowed? Thanks once again for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek

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    1. Aw thank you Helen :-) Ooh no, I guess you must enjoy your crumbles and fruit pie with icecream then rather than custard. I wasn't much of a fan of it as a child either, though I was particularly fussy, but but in more recent years I've really started to enjoy it. Of course, you can have the other two elements Helen :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  9. Do you know, I've never eaten Queen of Puddings and wasn't sure precisely, until studying this even what it was. This dessert sounds totally up my son and husband's street and I will definitely be making it for them.

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    1. It does seem to a dessert which isn't mentioned much for some reason Sarah, but I have no idea why because it's utterly delicious! I do hope your husband and son enjoy it as much as we did.

      Angela x

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  10. They are definitely fit for a queen-wow! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Hahaha, I wonder if I can tempt the Queen to call round to try one ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Vicki,
      Angela x

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  11. I've never tried one either and I really should as it's all the things I like in one pudding. I'd always imagined you were supposed to eat it cold (as it looks a bit like a trifle I guess), I bet it tastes amazing either way!

    I think I've got a couple of the GU pots stashed away too - they're just the perfect size for individual desserts that it seemed like such as waste to just chuck them in the recycling.

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    1. It does look a bit like a trifle doesn't it so I know what you mean about eating it cold. All the recipes I read mentioned to eat it how - or at least warm. I found it nicest warm but still lovely when it was fully cold too.
      Those GU pots are great aren't they, perfect for stashing aside for making small puds :-)
      Thanks for popping by Charlotte,
      Angela x

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  12. What pretty little puddings. Perfect for Her Majesty's celebrations! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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  13. How perfect for this weekend's celebrations! I love the presentation :) So pretty, almost too pretty to eat... Almost. #foodyearlinkup

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    1. Aw thank you :-) Almost :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  14. These look absolutely adorable! Almost too pretty to eat... almost ;)

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    1. Only almost Jo, they were gorgeous - I soon dived in with a teaspoon after the obligatory photos were taken :-)
      Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

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  15. That's some excellent handiwork on the meringue! My meringue always looks like something someone has sneezed out once I'm done with it! I've never made queen of puddings but have meant to for ages - I'll book this in as my wife will love it! :)

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    1. Hahaha, that's a description and a half Martin! I hope your wife will enjoy it as much as we did :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  16. it looks so regal! Thank you so much for taking part in Treat Petite x

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  17. These individual Queen of Puddings look absolutely stunning! I love the tiny bunting decoration and the incredibly neatly piped meringue, thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

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    1. Aw thank you Kat :-) I enjoyed making the bunting despite it being a tad fiddly and our cat enjoyed 'assisting' too ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment, and of course for co-hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete

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