My mother tells me that my grandmother used to make this all the time. At Christmas time, you tend to get nostalgic and think of your childhood, so I made a version using my home made berry sauce, rather than a bought jam. There isn’t a huge amount of sugar in this, so it isn’t as “bad” as it could be :).
2 cups milk;
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or cake crumbs if you have them, it will be sweeter if you use cakecrumbs);
2 eggs (use three if you want more meringue on top);
2 tbs white sugar; plus 2 tbs caster sugar for the meringue.
1/2 quantity of berry sauce.
Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 celcius (180 if not fan forced). Lightly grease a deep pie dish, and put half the milk in the dish with the breadcrumbs to allow this to soak while you are making the custard. Using another baking dish big enough to put the pie dish in, and with room to get your hands in to lift the dish out later, put enough water in the big dish to come 1/2 way up the sides of the pie dish and put the pie dish into the big dish – this is your water bath. This stops the custard cooking too quickly on the outside and not cooking on the inside.
Put the egg yolks only into a medium sized, heavy based pan, and reserve the whites in a separate bowl for later. Add the sugar and milk, and stir until well combined. Put on a low heat and stir constantly until the custard thickens (to check – turn over the spoon and quickly run your finger over the back of the spoon. If the line remains, then the custard is thick enough). Pour the custard into the milk & breadcrumb mixture and stir to combine, place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes – to test the custard, insert a knife into the custard, if it is cooked it will hold its shape. Leave the oven on.
While the custard is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff, then add the caster sugar and beat again to combine. Set aside. If you only use two egg whites, you will get a rustic top, where there are dobs of meringue and not total coverage of the pie. If you want a more full coverage, use three egg whites.
Spread the berry sauce over the top of the custard. Spread the meringue over the top, creating little peaks, and place back in the hot oven for about five minutes until the tops of the peaks start to brown.