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How to make Queen of puddings

This nostalgic pud is dessert royalty, with its creamy baked custard base, bright layer of jam and toasted, golden crown of marshmallowey meringue. Easy to master, this classic old-school pud should be a go-to for weekend lunches and special occasions. Don't forget to make a note of the ingredients list at the bottom of the page before you go shopping.

  1. Flavour the milk

    Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put 575ml whole milk in a medium-sized pan and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in 135g fresh white breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp caster sugar, the zest of 1 lemon and 25g unsalted butter. Set aside for 15 mins to cool.

    Flavour the milk
  2. Add the egg yolks

    Add 3 egg yolks (reserving the whites for the meringues) to the breadcrumb mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Arrange 6 x 250ml ovenproof glass ramekins on a baking tray and divide the mixture between them.

    Add the egg yolks
  3. Bake

    Transfer the baking tray to the oven and cook for 15 mins, or until set and lightly golden. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside on a heatproof surface. Reduce the oven temperature to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.

  4. Spread the jam

    Meanwhile, put 6 tbsp raspberry jam in a small pan and gently heat until runny. Spoon the jam evenly over the puddings, spreading it out until the custard bases are completely covered. Set aside while you make the meringue.

    Spread the jam
  5. Make the meringue

    Put the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and beat to stiff peaks with an electric whisk. Add 60g caster sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

    Make the meringue
  6. Pipe the meringue

    Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and cut a 1cm hole at the end. Pipe it over the puddings working from the outside-in, until the jam is completely covered. 

    Pipe the meringue
  7. Bake

    Bake for 5 mins, or until the peaks are lightly golden. Serve.

    Queen of puddings 963x614

    Calories 301 (15%), sugar 29g (32%), fat 11g (15%), saturates 5g (27%), salt 0.6g (10%), based on 6 servings.

  8. Delicious spins

    You can easily swap the raspberry jam in this pudding for another of your choice, or try with tangy marmalade or lemon curd instead. For some other twists, try one of these ideas:

    Whole queen of puddings: To make a whole pudding instead of individual ones, put the custard mixture in a 1 x 1.5ltr baking dish and cook for 25 mins. Spread with jam and bake the piped meringue topping for 7-8 mins.

    Chocolate and coconut: Replace the whole milk with a carton of drinking coconut milk. Add 50g desiccated coconut and 100g chocolate chunks to the breadcrumb mixture before stirring it into the warm milk. Scatter 15g desiccated coconut over the piped meringue topping before baking.

    Cherry and Madeira: Instead of breadcrumbs, use 150g of crumbled Madeira cake with the sugar, lemon zest and butter. Swap the raspberry jam for cherry.

  9. Ingredients

    We've prepared a simple shopping list so you can easily get all you need to make these classic puddings. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    575ml whole milk
    125g fresh white breadcrumbs
    90g caster sugar (2 tbsp for the custard plus 60g for the meringue)
    1 lemon, zested
    25g unsalted butter
    3 medium eggs, separated
    6 tbsp raspberry jam