Queen of puddings
Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins 4 tbsp strawberry jam caster sugar, for dusting butter, for greasing FOR THE MERINGUE 4 egg whites 200g caster sugar FOR THE CUSTARD 500ml milk 50g caster sugar 2 Earl Grey tea bags 1 vanilla pod, seeds only 100g white breadcrumbs 1 lemon, zest only 4 egg yolks, beaten
1 Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 25cm pie dish. To make the custard, put the milk, caster sugar, Earl Grey tea bags and vanilla seeds into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 5 mins to extract the flavour from the tea.
2 Remove and discard the tea bags, then turn off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Allow to sit for 10–15 mins. The breadcrumbs will absorb lots of the milk and swell. Stir in the egg yolks, then spoon the mixture into the greased pie dish. Bake for 25 mins, or until set.
3 Meanwhile, make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then, continuing to whisk, add the sugar. When the Earl Grey custard is ready, take it out of the oven and spread the jam evenly over the top. You may want to heat up the strawberry jam a little to make this easier. Now spoon or pipe the meringue evenly over the whole pie. Sprinkle evenly with some caster sugar, then bake for 15 mins. The meringue should be golden brown, and the sugar caramelizing to give the pudding a nice crunch.