Dame Mary Berry has said she “couldn’t believe” the variety of different ages that entered a competition to create a pudding fit to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Recipes by five amateur bakers have been selected from nearly 5,000 entries from across the country as part of the competition between royal grocer Fortnum & Mason and the Big Jubilee Lunch in honour of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
The Queen’s Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking, which airs on BBC One on May 12, will see Dame Mary and the Duchess of Cornwall announce the winner.
Speaking ahead of the broadcast, Dame Mary said: “I couldn’t believe it actually. It’s rather wonderful too about the different ages, there were some from children as young as 10, and they sent in pictures of what they were doing.”
On the quality of the entries, she added: “I was very impressed. The final five puddings couldn’t have been more different, and the bakers were all very organised, putting forward their idea and explaining so passionately why they chose it. It was lovely.”
Finalists Kathryn, Jemma, Sam, Shabnam and Susan travelled to London to create their puddings in what Dame Mary described as Fortnum & Masons’ “very smart” tea room.
The judging panel also included MasterChef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti, writer Jane Dunn, former Bake Off champion Rahul Mandal, pastry chef Matt Adlard and culinary historian and author Regula Ysewijn.
Up and down the country on Jubilee weekend, the winning recipe will be recreated at street parties, family events and community gatherings as the Platinum Pudding centrepiece to celebrations.
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) April 30, 2022
Dame Mary, 87, said she got involved in the project because she thought it was a “simply wonderful idea”.
She added: “Jubilees are very special, people are going to come together, have street parties and come together for the occasion as families and communities.
“It’s a wonderful thought that perhaps this Jubilee pudding will be made for everyone celebrating whether at street parties, for family occasions, or even made for just two people.
“The Jubilee weekend will feel as though the country is united.”
Reflecting on what her own Jubilee pudding would be like, she said: “I thought about this before I went in to judge. I thought I’d make something that would be possible for a street party, a family celebration, and it would be portable.
“Something that could be made ahead of an event and something with favourite flavours, not too unusual and spectacular that everybody would go ‘ooh and ahh’ about.”
– The winning recipe will be revealed in The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking, on BBC One at 8pm on May 12.