Guards’ pudding to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday

“One outstanding sweet is (traditionally) served to the Guards officers on duty at Whitehall or St James’s Palace. Lucky creatures; no wonder they all look so pleased with themselves.”

Lesley Blanch, Around the World in Eighty Dishes

Today, 17 June, the Queen’s Official Birthday, traditionally celebrated by the ceremony of the trooping of the colour. So naturally enough, today’s recipe is for Guards’ Pudding.

The inspiration for this comes from Lesley Blanch’s classic, and as she comments, “English food is often most unjustly reviled, but only by those who have never sampled its masterpieces”. This is one of them. But I have brought it a little up to date…and rendered it a bit less English… by the addition of barberries.

Recipe for Guards' Pudding
Guards’ Pudding, superbly moist

Recipe for Guards’ Pudding

For four

  • 1 cup/50g/2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 170g/¾ cup of golden caster sugar
  • 150g/6 oz butter
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in a teaspoon of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam or conserve. Wilkin & Son is good, or Bonne Maman
  • 200ml/¾ cup crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsps dried barberries or sour cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (use the aga simmering oven), and boil a kettle.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, sugar and butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the dissolved bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Separately beat the eggs and mix in a tablespoon of raspberry jam.
  5. Add the eggs to the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Pour into a buttered loaf tin.
  7. Put into a roasting tin, and pour around the boiling water, so that it is about halfway up the side of the loaf tin.
  8. Cook for about two hours – check it every now and then to make sure the water doesn’t need topping up.
  9. Serve hot with the crème fraîche and the barberries or sour cherries.

Music to cook to

It’s the Coldstream Guards, of course!
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