Queen of puddings really does suit its name: for me it is an old-fashioned pudding of the highest order. I like to use fresh apricots when they are available instead of the usual jam. Later in the summer blackcurrants are excellent, too. Serve this pudding either hot or well chilled and with cream if preferred.
Meanwhile, put the apricot halves in a saucepan with the brown sugar and lemon juice and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 10—15 minutes or until the fruit is mushy. If a lot of juice has emerged from the fruit remove the lid and bubble fiercely to reduce it to a thicker syrup. Remove from the heat and leave on one side.
When the custard and breadcrumb mixture is ready remove the dish from the oven and gently spoon the apricots evenly on top. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff, then fold in the remaining
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