Queen of Plum Puddings

“A perfect dessert for sharing with friends in the summertime”

6 South African plums
60g caster sugar
Pinch ground mixed spice
10g butter
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
400ml semi-skimmed milk
1tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated


Halve, pit and slice the plums. Put them into a saucepan with 20g of the sugar, the mixed spice and 100ml water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Leave to cool.

Grease a 1 litre baking dish with half the butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the dish. Heat the milk with the remaining butter and vanilla extract until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and add half the remaining sugar (20g), stirring to dissolve it. Pour into the baking dish. Add the beaten egg yolks and stir into the breadcrumbs. Leave to soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/ Gas Mark 4.

Bake the pudding for 20-25 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the plums over the surface.

Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until they hold their shape, then add the remaining sugar, whisking again until stiff and glossy. Pile on top of the pudding, then bake for a further 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Serve at once.

Cook’s Tips: This is a great recipe for making the most of bread that’s 2-3 days old. Remember, egg whites won’t whip if there is the slightest trace of grease in the bowl or on the beaters – and that includes egg yolk – so take care when separating the eggs.

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