The Crooked Billet

Quince & Queen Pudding

Serves 4

Quince & Queen Pudding

A twist on the classic Queen Pudding with the addition of quince, in season & available now. Plenty of local quince trees – look out for the slightly pear shaped yellow fruit covered with a fine down. Quince have an incredible fragrance when just picked – in fact it’s also used in perfume manufacture.

The fruit isn’t palatable raw – often used in jellies, preserves & marmalade. Lime being the perfect partner to bring out the flavour in quince.

75g butter

1 quince, peeled, cored & cut into 1cm cubes

Zest & juice of 1 lime

290ml milk

140g caster sugar

60g fresh white breadcrumbs

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs, separated

2 tbsp good fruit compote or preserve, such as strawberry or damson

Thick cream, to serve

In a small pan, melt 50g of the butter. Add the quince, lime zest & juice & cook, stirring continuously until the quince is softened & lightly coloured. Cool, then drain the quince & pat dry on kitchen paper. Set aside.

Heat the milk & add the remaining butter with 30g of the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the breadcrumbs & lemon zest. Remove from the heat & allow to cool.

Stir the egg yolks into the breadcrumb mixture. Stir in the quince & pour the mixture into a 600ml pie dish. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the dish in a roasting tin & pour enough hot water into the tin to come about two thirds of the way up the outside of the dish. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes or until it is just set. Allow to cool slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C. Warm the fruit compote or preserve & carefully spread it over the pudding. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar. Whisk again until very stiff & shiny, then fold in all but half a tablespoon of the remaining sugar.

Pipe the meringue on top of the pudding & dust the top lightly with the reserved sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes until the meringue is set & pale golden. Serve hot with thick cream.