Queen of pud­dings


Serves 6

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.

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