Here’s another recipe for a yummy treat- tested, tasted and loved. It was during one of our new home hunt that we visited my friend ‘P’s place. When we went there she told me she has some guests arriving next day and she was planning to make Biriyani and for the dessert ‘Queen of Puddings’. I have come across this recipe in couple of my recipe books and dint appeal me when I skimmed through them. But my friend ‘P’ told me that the pudding tasted so yummy and it is a crowd pleaser. She has prepared it for many of her guests and all had liked it and had even taken the recipe from her. So I thought I would dust up the recipe from the drafts and give it a shot. I had called her up few times to get the recipe, but couldn’t get her through. So after referring the nets and books, I finally ended up in the recipe mentioned here. Well the recipe is almost like hers, but I have added the lemon rind in the milk which I noticed on some recipes.
I thought the dessert was quite a light one, using less butter. The amount of sugar can be adjusted per your taste and the one given here is as per my family’s requirement. The dessert has three layers with the softly whipped light snowy meringue on the top that very well complimented with the sweet and slightly chewy stewed pineapple underneath and the soft bread pudding base. The addition of lemon rind in the bread pudding gave the dessert a burst of zesty and citrusy aroma. The flavours - vanilla, lemon and pineapple were all very well distributed and the dessert was full of flavour!
Well, I guess the classic version of the Queen of puddings is made of Strawberry Jam or Raspberry Jam in the middle layer instead of the stewed pineapple. I dint have Jam in hand, so substituted with the pineapple. If you are using jam instead of Pineapple, Warm few tablespoon of Jam in a saucepan until it becomes soft and spreadable and spread it on top of the bread pudding base, as thick as you like it to be. You may also use drained cherries from the can for a much sophisticated look. You may also try stewing berries like strawberries, raspberries etc with little sugar until soft and spoon them over the bread. These are just suggestions. We very much liked the pineapple version and I guess I would be sticking to this recipe rather than using jam. You may also try using your own versions of fruits, but I guess tropical fruits or summer berry fruits should work with the best for this recipe.
Queen of Puddings
1 ¼ cup (125 gm) finely chopped bread (tightly packed)
2 cups (500mls) milk, whole or semi skimmed
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 lemon’s rind
2 Tbs butter
3 large eggs separated
1*520gm can Pineapple chunks finely chopped (1 1/2 cups), (320g drained weight)
4 Tbs + 4 Tbs + 4Tbs finely granulated sugar (Grind sugar if it has larger crystals)
4 Tbs pineapple juice from the can OR water if using fresh pineapple
1. Chop the bread into very small pieces, tip them into a bowl and keep aside.
2. Add milk, butter and grated lemon rind into a sauce pan and bring to simmering point until the butter completely melts, but don’t boil.
3. Mix in vanilla and add it the chopped bread pieces. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes or until the bread has really soaked up in milk, has become soft and plumb. Mash the bread using a fork or just whisk for 2 minutes with a balloon whisk just to mash the bread.
4. Pre- heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
5. Meanwhile add 4 Tbs of sugar to egg yolks and lightly beat for couple of minutes until pale. Add this to the bread mixture and mix well.
6. Pour this bread mixture in a 1.3 litre oven proof dish or any pie dish. Place this dish in another large vessel or tray or baking dish and fill the larger vessel halfway with hot water (Bain Marie/water bath). Wearing oven mitts, place the whole tray in the middle rack of the oven. Bake the pudding till it sets in the center and stops wobbling, for about 20-30 minutes. (Mine took 26 minutes)
7. While the pudding is in the oven, add the chopped pineapple in a saucepan along with 4 Tbs of sugar and the pineapple juice or water and cook till pineapple is soft and there is no moisture left. Mash it fork roughly and let it cool. Spread this over the baked bread pudding evenly.
8. For preparing the meringue (pronounced as ‘meraang’), in a squeaky clean bowl (make sure it is free of grease), Add the egg whites and using an electric whisk (egg beater), whip until it holds stiff peaks. Add little sugar at a time (1 Tbs at a time and total of 4 Tbsp), and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy as you see in the picture.
9. Spoon the mixture on top of the pineapple and spread it evenly. If you want to form spikes as in picture, slightly depress the back of spoon into the meringue and lift it. It should form low peaks. Don’t lift it too high or the peaks will burn before the rest gets cooked. You may also pipe out the meringue using piping bag to get an even better pattern.
10. Put it back in the oven (No Bain Marie this time) and bake till the top turns slightly golden. I baked it in 180 Degrees here and took me around 15 minutes in my oven. You may reduce it to 150 or 160 degrees and cook for longer.
11. Bring it room temperature and serve it warm or serve it chilled.
1.While using lemons rind, make sure you don’t use the white pith underneath the skin which is very bitter. You may substitute orange rind for lemon.
2.If you find it difficult to place the whole tray of pudding and water, you may place the larger tray in the oven, place the smaller one in, then pour the hot water.
This post also comes with 'Beautiful Blogger Award' from my dear friend faiza (http://www.faizaali.blogspot.com/). Thank you faiza for the award. I would like to share this beautiful award with all my beautiful friends.