Lemon Meringue Pudding with a Poached Berry Sauce

With so much to do on Christmas day, from the starters to the turkey and ham, all the accompaniments as well as taking time to admire Santa’s gifts, one would be forgiven for taking an easy option for dessert. This is my effortless but very satisfying Christmas dessert. It couldn’t be easier to make and quite conveniently will sit in the freezer for up to a week without spoiling. The berry sauce can also be prepared a day or two in advance. So all that is needed on Christmas day is to take the pudding from the freezer, drizzle over the sauce and wait for your family to declare just how wonderful you really are.

Lemon Meringue Pudding with a Poached Berry Sauce

900ml soft scoop vanilla ice-cream
200g meringues, roughly crushed
200g lemon curd
zest of 1 lemon

Biscuit Base:
125g digestive biscuits, crushed
60g butter, melted

Poached Berry Sauce:
150g mixed berries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp port
50g caster sugar

To Serve:
A few fresh berries {optional}

1. Line a pudding bowl with double cling film.
2. First make the biscuit base by combining the crushed digestives with the melted butter. Leave to one side to cool completely.
3. If not using the soft scoop ice-cream, take the ice-cream from the freezer 15 minutes before using and place in the fridge so it can soften slightly. Add the ice-cream to a mixing bowl. Whisk for a minute, using an electric beater, or beat with a wooden spoon. Acting quickly, to avoid the ice-cream completely melting, fold in the crushed meringues, lemon curd, and lemon zest and combine well. Transfer into a 1.5lt pudding bowl, leaving a little space for the biscuit mixture.
4. Spoon in the biscuit mix and gently press down. Cover tightly with two layers of cling film. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
5. To make the poached berry sauce, add the berries, port, and sugar to a small saucepan. Gently heat and then simmer for 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using.
6. Take the pudding from the freezer and turn out onto a plate. Gently peel away the cling film. Spoon over the poached berry sauce. If you have them to hand, dress with a few additional fresh berries and serve.