All hail, queen of puddings !” Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the custard” ( or something like that )

Queen of puddings..a totally british affair

Well with all this recent talk of the diamond jubilee of Betty the 2nd, queen of Britland, you’d think I would have come up with loads of jubbly jubilee goodies !

Weeeelll I have been very busy at studios for one ….and two, there is just so much out there on the interwebby thing, that I didn’t think it was worth it.

I had made a display for a photo shoot of a chocolate crown ( obvious innuendo) and a few cup cakes in a royal nod to the festivities, but I did get thinking about the resurgence in all british bakes and desserts that had erupted in red white and blue clouds of icing sugar, flour and royal jelly, and my thoughts turned to some of my old favourites, one of which is queen of puddings, a classic dessert, and one I remember being taught at college as part of my pastry course back in the day.

It evolved from a group of puddings based, like a lot of puddings at the time, out of bread crumbs baked in an egg custard, of these you have Manchester pudding, monmouth pudding, and cabinet pudding but to name a few.

Queen of puddings was recorded in a cook book as early as 1699, made with the usual breadcrumb and custard mix, jam and meringue.

Then, post 2nd world war, It appeared with a sponge crumb base, the most well-known version was by Marguerite Patten, britains earliest TV celebrity chef, & one of Nigel Slater’s earliest inspirations I believe. She published a recipe with the usual bread crumb base topped with jam and meringue, then another version using a raspberry jam swiss roll as a base…inspired !

When I learnt about this dessert at college, we were taught is as a classic dish in our class syllabus, we were shown to present it with either a piped diamond lattice meringue topping with different coloured jam in the spaces, or if it was in a round dish, it was decorated with a meringue “daisy” pattern, with different coloured jams in the petal centres.

Anyhooo have a go yourself, here’s the recipe, and seeing it was lizzie Windsor’s diamond jubilee at the time of writing this post, I chose the diamond pattern in homage. You can also make individual versions. I have made this one using fresh raspberries to give it a bit of a lift.


Your oven pre-heated to 150c

A baking dish approximately 12 inches by 8 inches

A piping bag

A whisk

Some bunting to wrap yourself in 🙂

Will serve up to 8 people


350g raspberry jam

2 packets of sponge fingers or some ready-made sponge.

500ml of whole milk

4 large eggs

100g sugar

1 vanilla pod or teaspoon of vanilla essence.

zest of 1 lemon and orange

250g -300g  fresh raspberries ( 1 punnet )

METHOD- base

spread half the raspberry jam over base, then crumble over sponge base of choice

Then scatter over the raspberries

Place milk, zest and vanilla in pan on the stove

Whisk the eggs and  sugar in separate bowl

When milk has boiled, pour over egg and sugar mix and continue whisking, pass through fine sieve

Next pour liquid over sponge base and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Bake in oven for 25 mins at 150c until custard has set.

Take out of oven and leave to cool.

INGREDIENTS- Meringue topping

5 large egg whites

200g caster sugar.

1 Teaspoon white wine vinegar

Raspberry and Apricot jam.

METHOD- Meringue topping

Semi whisk whites, add sugar gradually, carry on whisking until stiff.

Pipe a lattice pattern over top. ( see picture in method gallery )

Fill gaps with alternate raspberry and apricot jam

place back in oven at 160c until meringue has coloured.

Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.

NOTE – To make individual puddings divide mix between ramekins, halve baking time and pipe spiky crown meringue pattern, decorate with blobs of jam ( see method gallery)


Heres the method in pictures, click on any image to enlarge.

© The cake-shaker 2012


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