This pud is a classic, and a great way to turn some leftover bread and a few store-cupboard staples into a real treat.
- Butter for greasing
- 75 g slightly stale white breadcrumbs
- 600 ml full cream (whole) milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 100 g raspberry jam
- 4 large egg whites
- 150 g caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat oven to 180°C/gas 4. Butter 6 ramekins or individual heatproof glass dishes, 10cm in diameter. Divide the breadcrumbs between them, scattering them evenly.
2. Put the milk in a saucepan. Split open the vanilla pod with a small, sharp knife and scrape out the seeds with the tip of the knife. Add both the seeds and the pod to the saucepan. Slowly bring the milk just to the boil, then take off the heat.
3. Whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolks together in a bowl. Pour on the hot milk and whisk well. (It’s important to pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, not the other way round, and to keep whisking, to avoid the custard curdling.) Strain this into a jug.
4. Pour the custard into the prepared dishes, dividing it equally. Stand the dishes in a large roasting dish and pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the custards are set. Remove from the roasting tin and allow to cool.
5. Return the cooled custards to the emptied out roasting tin.
6. If your jam is very stiff, beat it to soften, or heat it slightly. When the custards are cool, spread the jam over them.
7. For the meringue topping, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk, or using a mixer with a whisk attachment, until they hold stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time, until you have a fluffy meringue that holds stiff peaks. (See Note for colour variation.)
8. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe it on top of the jam-topped custards. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until the meringue is golden, then serve straight away.
• In Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds, he makes a version topped with a coloured meringue that is made by two of his guests on the show. They colour some of the meringue (after it is mixed) with freeze-dried raspberry powder, then spoon some of the brightly coloured meringue into the piping bag, followed by a non-coloured meringue. The process of piping little kisses onto the custard pots creates a variegated effect.