272. Christmas Queen of Puddings (Basics etc.)
Quite a random thing to make for a Monday afternoon, but I had all the ingredients, so why not?
We used to serve Queen of Puddings at the restaurant at which I used to work as a cook. I never quite figured out what it was though; our hot-food chef heated it up, someone else chucked it in the bain marie, and I only saw it once it had been ravaged by the hordes of customers in the buffet line, and all that remained were bits of meringue on the edges of the empty dish, and custardy crap stuck on the bottom.
Nigella says that this pudding is Christmassy because she includes pandoro instead of normal breadcrumbs, and marmalade instead of jam. To bump up its inherent Christmassy-ness, (yes, I know it’s already February, live with it), I used the Seville Orange Marmalade that I made last year.
I also used pannetone instead of pandoro, because only pannetone came in appropriately sized portions. You need 150 grams of crumbs for the recipe, and pandoro only seems to come in 1 kg mega-loaves.
The first step is to rip up your crumbs, and add to them castor sugar, orange flower water and orange zest. I love the way that the 3 orange elements complement each other and intensify their inherent orangey-ness. Then you heat up milk and butter, pour it over and let it all infuse.
Then you pour it into a buttered dish (having run out of butter, I substituted margarine here... may the culinary gods have mercy on my soul), and bake until set.
The next layer is a mixture of marmalade and golden syrup.
Then you whisk up egg whites and sugar to form a meringue, and dollop it on top.
From here, you have to bake it for 20 minutes until crispy and brownish.
What a queen.
Here's what it looks like on the inside. It was a bit more liquid than expected, but still tasted great. The dense, fragrant, rich custard below and the airy, airy meringue combine to form a wonderfully comforting pudding.
Daniel: Wow, the meringue is so fluffy!
Nigella says the recipe serves 4-6. I halved the quantities, and 3 of us managed to get about halfway through the pudding. I know I keep going on about Nigella's enormous portions, but I am consistently amazed by them.