One of my favourite puddings, as an apprentice we would always finish the top with greengage and raspberry jams. The secret is not over cook the custard. Any cake or breadcrumbs will do, I just love buttery Madeira cake.
- 1 pint of full cream milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 85g Madeira cake crumbs or fine breadcrumbs
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 4 tbsp greengage or green rhubarb jam
- 4 tbsp raspberry jam
- 3 medium egg whites (150g) maybe 4 egg whites check the weight
- pinch cream of tartar, makes the meringue more stable
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g icing sugar, sieved
- Pre heat the oven to 160 C, Gas 3.
- Lightly grease or oil a 23cm x 6cm deep, square (Le Crueset, blue) ceramic baking dish.
- Place the milk and vanilla pod into a thick bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Put the egg yolks and castor sugar into a bowl and whisk together until pale in colour.
- When the milk is boiling, pour on to the egg yolks and whisk well, strain and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, mix the cake or breadcrumbs, nutmeg and zest together. Pour on the hot milk and whisk together.
- Carefully pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover with tin foil and pop in the oven.
- Take care when cooking, it will set, then curdle very quickly indeed, you want it just set.
- When cooked remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. This pudding should be eaten warm, not too hot. Turn the oven up to 200 Degrees C, Gas 7.
- Next make the meringue.
- Put the whites in a mixing bowl (room temperature ones whip the best I believe) add the cream of tartar and whisk on half speed.
- I reckon that if you beat the whites too quickly, they tend to split quicker, and cannot hold their own weight. When they are thick and foamy, but not splitting, add the castor sugar and whisk again on a medium speed, until shiny and glossy. Do not over beat. Then remove the bowl from the machine, and carefully fold in the icing sugar.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain piping tube, with the finished meringue, and pipe diagonal lines across the warm custard. Then do the same on the opposite side, so you end up with diamond shaped custard holes.
- Then fill alternate hole with the different jams, pipe a nice decoration around the edge.
- Sprinkle with a little castor sugar, and bake in the hot oven until the pudding is a deep beige colour and the meringue is crisp.
- Serve with a jug of double cream or soft vanilla ice cream or both!!!