British Bites: Queen of Puddings

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

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A dish fit for a Queen, this pudding has roots that can be traced back as far as the seventeenth century. With peaks of soft meringue with a softly toasted crust, covering a sweet center of jam and a base of custard, this pudding is a true British classic that has stood the test of time.

Like many puddings of yesteryear, the base of this custard stems from day-old bread soaked in milk; the modern version of this pudding adds egg yolks to milk soaked and sweetened breadcrumbs. The base turns into something remarkably cake-like, but with the added richness of custard.

For such a dramatic pudding, this is actually a pretty simple dessert to assemble. The most difficult part is making sure your yolks don't curdle when you're making the custard base. You could of course go the extra mile of making your own jam (or grabbing a jar you made earlier in the year out of the cupboard) but a good quality store-bought variety can make an appearance in this dish with no detrimental impact to your final product.