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This is a wonderful dessert, which is both light and comforting. Comprised of a vanilla egg custard and breadcrumb base, a fresh blueberry compote and a topping of light and fluffy meringue, it is baked in the oven until lightly browned and crisp.
Serves six to eight.
Preparation time: 10 minutes + 20 minutes standing time
Cooking time: 1¼ - 1½hrs
- 500ml/18 fl oz milk
- 300ml/10 fl oz single cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 70g/2½ oz caster sugar
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 150g/5½ fresh white breadcrumbs
- 30g/1oz salted butter
- 3 large egg yolks
- 500g /1lb 2oz blueberries
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 40g/1½ oz sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
- 3 large egg whites
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350 °F/Gas Mark 4 or for a fan oven: 160 °C
- 1.To make the base - Heat the milk, cream, vanilla, caster sugar and lemon zest in a pan to boiling point. Remove from the heat, add the butter and when melted, stir in the bread crumbs. Stand for 20 minutes beat in the egg yolks. Pour the mixture into the dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- To make the compote - Place the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has melted. Add the cornflour and water mixture and continue to stir until thickened. Spoon the compote over the baked vanilla base and spread evenly.
To make the meringue
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/ 300°F/ Gas Mark 2 / Fan oven: 130°C
- Whisk the egg whites until they appear to be breaking away from the sides of the bowl and have reached a stiff peak. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time, continuing to beat until stiff and glossy.
- Pipe or spoon the meringue over top of the blueberry compote and bake for 35-40 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and allow to stand and cool for 20-30 minutes. This dessert is best served warm or at room temperature.
- Always use a grease free, clean bowl when whisking egg whites.
- When piping or spooning on the meringue topping, begin around the edges first to seal the filling and finish in the centre.
- Other berries or a mixture of berries can also be used e.g. blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants.