Meringue is the backbone of so many traditional British desserts, especially summer puddings. They are so quick, easy and cheap to make, plus they keep well in an airtight box so always make plenty.
8 fl oz full cream milk
8 fl oz double heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 ½ oz sugar
5 large egg yolks
5 oz fresh breadcrumbs
Zest of 2 lemons
8 oz of jam, fruit preserve, or fruit compote
5 egg whites, at room temperature
3 ½ oz sugar
1 tbsp powder sugar
Preheat the oven to 310°F. Lightly butter a 3½ pint ovenproof dish.
Place the milk, cream and vanilla extract into a saucepan and slowly bring to a gentle boil.
In a roomy bowl whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Still whisking, slowly add the warmed milk and cream to the egg mixture taking care not to splash. Finally add the breadcrumbs and the lemon zest.
Place the jam or chosen fruit into the bottom of the greased pudding dish then pour in the egg and breadcrumb mixture; you can leave the jam out and use it later in the recipe if you choose.
Bake the pudding in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 mins or until the mixture is risen and almost set – yet still slightly wobbly. Remove the pudding from the oven and leave on one side to cool.
Raise the oven to 375°F
Make the Meringue: in a large, clean roomy baking bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Whisk in the sugar one tbsp at a time. If you haven’t used your fruit filling in the base of the pudding, warm it gently in a microwave or warmed through in a pan and spread it carefully over the cooled base then cover with a thick layer of meringue.
Sprinkle liberally with the icing / powder sugar, place in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the surface is crisp and lightly browned.