Apricot Queen of Puddings

prep 25 mins, plus standing cook 35–45 mins
  • 600 ml (1 pint) milk
  • grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 125 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, diced

Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the lemon rind and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in the butter and 50 g (2 oz) of the sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Mix in the breadcrumbs and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

Mix the egg yolks into the milk mixture, then pour into a greased 1.5 litre (2½ pint) ovenproof pie dish. Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 20–25 minutes until the custard has set and is just beginning to brown around the edges.

Dot the jam over the baked custard and sprinkle with the diced apricots. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiffly peaking, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar a teaspoonful at a time until thick and glossy (see page 10). Spoon over the jam, then swirl with the back of the spoon.

Put the dish back in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the meringue is golden and cooked through. Serve warm with cream.

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