Manchester Pudding

manchester puddingLike everyone else in the world, I was planning on making pancakes this week. But being one of them there fancy food blogger types, I was going to do one version in advance to be published today, making me look smart and then have the standard ones tonight for tea as well.

My forward thinking/gluttony was sabotaged by the fact my non stick pan has given up the ghost. A omelette last week was unspeakable and yesterday’s attempt at boxty taught me something can be burnt and gluey at the same time. I wouldn’t dare try and flip anything in it today while I await my new cast iron pan from Sainsbury’s to arrive (their whole cast iron range is on offer currently.)

Instead I thought of other ways to use up the eggs I’d bought specially and my mind went back to this recipe for Manchester Pudding I’ve bookmarked ages ago. A rich custard is bulked up with breadcrumbs and baked and then topped with jam and meringue, it is the perfect pud when you have some spare eggs.

I made mine in the slow cooker as originally I thought I might use the recipe for the book but as the custards were baking, I counted my recipes and realised I’ve actually got more than 200 recipes and decided to blog it instead. I am totally loving the slow cooker as a giant bain marie. It’s so much easier than trying to lift trays of boiling water out of the oven and the steaming effect seems to make custards even creamier. In fact, it’s turned me from a custard catastrophe to to a custard champion. Perfect.

Manchester Pudding  (adapted from Simon Rimmer’s recipe here)

(serves 4-6)

  • 600ml or 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 lemon, grated
  •  few drops almond essence (optional)
  • 25g butter
  • 25g sugar
  • 100g white breadcrumbs
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 25g raspberry jam

I used individual ramekins for mine but you could use one large dish to make this. If you are using the slow cooker, check to see which fits best before you get to the stage of pouring boiling water round it.

Pour the milk into a saucepan and warm it gently on a medium heat. Don’t let it boil. Grate the lemon zest into the milk and allow the flavours to infuse. I added some bitter almond essence as well at this stage but this is non traditional and optional. Set the milk aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Add the butter and the sugar to the milk while bringing it back to a simmer. Stir in the breadcrumbs and combine well, allowing them to soak up some of the milk. Take the pan off the direct heat. Beat the egg yolks well in a small bowl and then add a splash of the hot milk and stir it well. This tempers the egg yolks and stop them from splitting or scrambling.

Pour the tempered yolks into the milk and stir it well. This creates the custard. Pour it into the ramekins or dish. Set it into the slow cooker crock. Pour boiling water carefully into the crock so it comes halfway up the sides. Put the lid on it and bake the custards for 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, set the dishes in deep roasting tin. Put the roasting tin in the oven at 180ºC and pour boiling water into it so it comes half way up the side of it. Bake the custards for 30 minutes.

While the custards cook, make your meringue. Put the egg whites in a clean grease free bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 1-2 minutes until they are frothy. Start adding the sugar gradually, beating all the while. This will create a lovely glossy meringue. Beat for about 5 minutes until the egg whites are in soft peaks and you can do the whole turn the bowl upside down thing. Stir the vinegar in. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag.

Check on your custards. They should be set but still wobbling. Add a dollop of jam and then pipe meringue on top the custard. This is much easier to do in the slow cooker where all you have to do is lift the lid off and lean over the crock. You’ll need to take the roasting tin out of the oven completely to do this.

Replace the lid of the slow cooker and allow the meringue to cook for 12 minutes or turn the oven up to 240ºC and bake the meringue for 8-10 minutes. The slow cooker meringue will be set but soft and sticky like the chewy bit in a pavlova or some marshmallow fluff. The baked ones will be crunchy and sticky inside. Finish the slow cooker puddings off under a hot grill for about 1-2 minutes just to give them a little colour.

Serve the puddings immediately or allow to cool. The slow cooker one will keep for up to 2 days in advance in the fridge. I love the soft gooey meringue combined with the thick creamy custard and don’t feel I’m missing out on pancakes at all with one of these left for dinner tonight!



6 replies
  1. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Alicia: it would appear that there’s absolutely no difference (according to Googling a Mary Berry recipe) between Manchester Pudding and Queen of Puddings. I had never heard of the latter so didn’t know this. Fascinating to see them same thing with a regionally varied name!

  2. Jen Kirby
    Jen Kirby says:

    I always knew it referred to as Queen of Puddings in recipe books. I’ve made it often but I use a method that is more fool proof (the fool being me – actually I am disabled so stirring the egg yolks without them scrambling is beyond me).
    Put the bread (no need to make breadcrumbs first) in an oven proof dish with the sugar and butter, and pour boiling milk over it. Leave it to soak and cool a while. Mash the bread and milk mixture then mash the egg yolks into it. Bake in a moderate oven about 30 mins until set. Then finish off with jam and meringue as your recipe.

  3. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Jen: I am now going to blame my years of terrible custard making on my disability (not my culinary failings…!) I’m going to use your tip in future. And yes, it looks like this is just a regional name for Queen of Puddings. Get me for trying to sound all Northern from the South!

  4. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    This sounds delicious! Just a couple of questions, I’ve not used my slow cooker like this before. Do you have to preheat the slow cooker first, and is it cooked on low or high? I had my pancakes this week with a marmalade sauce from Nigella, she uses it for eggy bread. It was a leftover from a Sunday breakfast a few weeks ago which i had stashed in the freezer.
    Very good it was too, but I think these Queen of Manchester Puddings need a try out!

  5. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Hi Jackie: my slow cooker doesn’t need preheated, but best to check your manufacturer’s instructions first. I cooked mine on high and the slow cooker works a treat as a big bain marie. Much easier especially as my oven door keeps opening itself and spoiling things. Am going to look up this sauce, it sounds amazing!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply