Queen of Puddings is a British Classic, and to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee the pudding was adapted. Cherries Jubilee was invented for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. I decided to take this idea, and spread a layer of Cherries Jubilee on the pudding base. I only hope the Queen doesn't mind that I messed about with a classic pudding, otherwise it could be the Tower for me.....
This pudding never looks the prettiest when served up, but a tip is to serve the pudding when it is lukewarm, this way the custard base has a chance to set again. For presentation, individual puddings win every time. No piped meringue, simply dollop the whisked egg whites into the centre, spread out towards the edges of the dish and swirl with a spoon.
For the pudding:
90g fresh breadcrumbs, 2 tbs soft brown sugar, 450ml whole milk, 1 lemon(zest only), 1 tbs caster sugar, 25g salted butter, 3 large eggs(yolks only, the whites will be used for the meringue)
For the topping:
350g jar pitted cherries ( I buy mine from Lidl), 2 tbs sugar free cherry jam, 1 tsp brandy, McDougalls Thickening Granules. 3 large egg whites, 75g caster sugar
1. Preheat the grill to medium setting. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and brown sugar onto a roasting tray and mix together. Grill the breadcrumb mix until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Put on one side to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2.
3. Heat the milk, lemon zest, sugar and butter together in a pan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is combined. Stir the toasted breadcrumbs and caster sugar into the milk mixture. Put to one side to cool for 30 minutes.
4. After the breadcrumb mixture has cooled for 30 minutes, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until pale and fluffy, add them to the milk and breadcrumb mixture and whisk until combined.
5. Pour the pudding mixture into a 20cm ovenproof serving dish and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until the pudding has risen and set.
6. Drain the cherries(reserve the juice), add to a small saucepan, stir in the cherry jam and two tablespoons of the reserved syrup. Heat gently until the jam has melted, add a teaspoon of thickening granules and stir until thickened, add the brandy. Cool slightly. Spread over the pudding layer.
7. Whisk the egg whites until the soft peak stage, add the sugar a little at a time whilst still whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form.
8. Spoon the meringue over the pudding and return to the oven for 40 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.