So here's my gourmet worthy, budget friendly Queen of Puddings.
Really...that's it's name. Queen of Puddings.
I can't tell you why except that it has all my favourite things, so they must have been someone elses favourite too, hence the elevation to royal status!
It's really a simple thing. A bread and butter pudding layer, topped with jam, over which is smothered a decadent layer of fluffy meringue with a light crisp surface.
So here's how.
A loaf pan
Microwave safe bowl or jug of 400ml capacity at least
A baking dish large enough to hold the loaf pan and some water
3 slices of bread, cubed (I use gluten free fruit loaf)
2 eggs, separated into the two bowls
300mls of milk (or cream if you want to be really naughty)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
1 dessertspoon sugar
2 teaspoons brown sugar (this gives a gorgeous sticky surface to the meringue)
4 tablespoons of your favourite jam
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Spread the cubed bread over the base of the pan.
Put the egg whites in the bowl into the fridge to chill.
Heat the cream or milk in the microwave safe jug for 50 seconds to take the chill off it.
Whisk in the egg yolks, dessertspoon of sugar and the vanilla, and pour it over the bread in the pan. Allow this to sit for about 20 minutes so that the bread soaks up all that lovely custardy goodness.
Sit the loaf pan into the baking dish and pour water into the baking dish until it comes about halfway up the side of the loaf pan.
Bake for 25-45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Mine seems to vary according to how much bread and custard I've used!
Remove from the oven. and spread the jam evenly over the surface of the pudding. Set aside.
Remove the egg whites from the fridge, and whip them until firm peaks form, adding the brown sugar a teaspoon at a time towards the end and beating well to incorporate it.
Plop spoonsful of the meringue onto the surface of your pudd, and smooth it out evenly. Form little peaks by holding the back of a spoon on the top of the meringue and lifting quickly with a deft little swirl of your wrist. These brown up beautifully and make your pudd look all lush.
Put the pudd back into the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until it's lightly browned on top.
Yum, yum and yum.
Who imagined that stale bread, sugar, a couple of eggs and a bit of jam could turn into something so delicious and more-ish!