Queen of Puddings

Serves 4
Time 1 hour


250ml milk
300ml thickened cream
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g butter
Zest of 1 lemon
160g fresh white breadcrumbs (not dried)
4 eggs, separated
1 cup mixed berry compote (store-bought or homemade)
¼ cup brandy


Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease four individual ramekins.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and 250ml cream just to the boil then reduce heat to low and whisk through the vanilla and butter and half the sugar. Add the lemon zest to the breadcrumbs then stir through the cream mixture and turn off the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 50ml cream with the egg yolks until smooth. Pour into the cream mixture, stirring continuously, until combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins, filling them up about ⅔ of the way. Place the ramekins on a tray in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until firm.

To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with the remaining 100g sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.

Place the berry compote and brandy in a bowl and mix together. Spoon over the still-warm puddings, then spoon the meringue on top. If you have a blowtorch, use it on the meringues until golden and crisp, or return to the oven to bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden.