This is a truly great, much under-appreciated pudding. Not only delicious, it has the added impossibility of ice cream in the oven. It is as simple as a cake or biscuity base, piled high with vanilla ice cream and smothered in a mountain of meringue.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 200 g digestive biscuits
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100 g butter
- 1 quantity custard OR 500 ml tub of your favourite vanilla ice cream
- 300 g caster sugar
- 1 slice of lemon
- 5 egg whites
- To make the base, break up the biscuits and blitz briefly in a food processor to coarse crumbs. Alternatively, place them in a strong plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin. Mix the biscuit crumbs and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add to the crumb mixture and mix to combine. Tip into a 20 cm spring form cake tin, spread evenly and press with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge or freezer to chill.
- For the ice cream, if you’re making your own, churn the custard in an ice-cream maker until firm. Transfer to a tub and place in the freezer. Take the ice cream out of the freezer 10 minutes before assembling the pudding to let it soften a little.
- If your oven has an integral grill, heat it to high. (Otherwise preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas mark 8.) Take the biscuit base out of the fridge/freezer and remove the side of the tin, leaving the biscuit on the base of the tin. Pile the ice cream on top of the biscuit base, leaving a 3 cm clear margin around the edge. Put in the freezer.
- Make the meringue, whipping it to soft peaks. Take the ice-cream-topped base from the freezer and cover it evenly with meringue, creating a layer at least 5 cm thick. This is vital: it insulates the ice cream, preventing it from melting.
- Place in the middle of the oven and let the grill (or heat of the oven) colour and lightly cook the meringue. This can take anything from 3–6 minutes. After a few minutes, check frequently as it can quickly burn. When the contours are browned, with a hint of dark on the ridges, whip it out, immediately cut into it and serve.