Goddess of puddings


Granny introduced me to the justly famous old English classic, Queen of puddings, but one day when we had run out of jam, she tried it with Seville orange marmalade instead. It was so good that when I reproduced it as a recipe some years later - adding a hint of cardamom -1 elevated the queen to a goddess. You can serve the pudding either hot or cold, with or without cream.


  • 75 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 600 ml whole milk
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • finely grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 50 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 large free-range eggs, separated
  • 125 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 4 rounded tablespoons Seville orange marmalade
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • pinch of sea salt


Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Butter an ovenproof oval dish and scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the grated rind of the lemon and one of the oranges. Add the butter and stir over a low heat until it has melted and the mixture is just warm.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks with 75 g of the sugar. Slowly stir in the warm milk and butter, then pour the mixture over the breadcrumbs. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the custard feels set when you touch it lightly in the middle. Remove from the oven.

Stir the marmalade and lemon juice together in a bowl. Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods, grind them using a pestle and mortar, then stir into the marmalade. Spread the mixture over the top of the baked custard.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they stand in soft peaks. Using a metal spoon, fold in the remaining sugar and orange zest. Pile this meringue over the marmalade and sprinkle a little extra sugar on top. Return the pudding to the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.