An editor’s recipe for a lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle will go down in British cooking history after it was given the title ‘platinum pudding’ for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Jemma Melvin, 31, from Southport, beat competition from four other Fortnum & Mason platinum pudding contest finalists to win the title. His trifle follows in the footsteps of the coronation chicken, serving as a lasting reminder of the monarch’s 96-year reign.
Earlier this year, Fortnum & Mason challenged the UK to create a recipe that met the criteria of being fit for a queen. Requirements included a memorable story, the perfect taste, and a recipe simple enough for home bakers.
The winner was finally announced on BBC One’s The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years in the Baking on Thursday night, after a unanimous decision by a panel of judges including Dame Mary Berry and chef Monica Galetti.
Melvin’s trifle, made up of a lemon curd roll on the base, St Clément jelly, lemon cream, amaretti biscuits, mandarin coulis, fresh whipped cream, candied peel, shards of chocolate and crushed amaretti cookies on top, won over the judges from the first bite.
Responding to her triumph, Melvin said the first thing she needed to do was tell her grandmother. “She’s the person who taught me how to cook and I’m so excited to tell her. She’s going to be so proud, I can’t wait,” she said.
“I’m so happy, thank you so much, Mary. It was also an honor to have your feedback. It just meant the world to me. The idea of people recreating my pudding, especially around Jubilee, is just total fun .
The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the Big Jubilee Lunch, was a surprise special guest and announced the winning recipe. Dame Mary, president of the jury, described it as “absolutely wonderful”. She added: “I think Britain is going to be so delighted and so is the Queen.”
Galetti said: “I love lemon and sometimes people hold back, and they’re scared to put that lemon in there, and while you’re eating it, you think, ‘oh it can’t get any better’. I have pieces of amaretti cookie that have soaked up the cream and they are fluffy and I’m so happy right now.
Melvin, who has been cooking since the age of six, said she was inspired by her grandma and grandmother. “My grandmother is with us but unfortunately not my grandmother, they are both extremely important to me. My grandmother taught me how to cook, but my grandmother’s signature dish was a trifle. A wonderful, poised woman, just like our queen, she used to make a wonderful trifle, but hers was laced with sherry and decorated with kiwi fruit and chocolate flakes, but this trifle is elevated and worthy of the queen she -same.
Melvin, who lives with her longtime partner James and their rescue dog Bella, said she found out the Queen was having lemon at her wedding and decided her pudding should be made from a lemon flavor.
“My grandmother and grandmother, they also loved lemon so it all fell into place. I think it will be perfect for Jubilee celebrations as it is refreshing for the summer,” said she said. “It can also be prepared in a large dish or in individual portions, depending on your preference.”
There were almost 5,000 entries in the competition, coming from Land’s End to Duncansby Head. A shortlist of 50 people were judged “blind” – by recipe only – until five bakers were announced as finalists. Melvin faced stiff competition from fellow finalists, Kathryn, Sam, Shabnam and Susan.
Fortnum & Mason executive pastry chef and judge Roger Pizey said: “I really think we’re going to be making Jemma’s Trifle for at least the next 50-100 years, no doubt.
The company will support the Big Jubilee Lunch June 2-5, giving away the country’s winning platinum pudding recipe along with expert baking tips.
All proceeds from the sale of the pudding at Fortnum & Mason stores will be donated to two UK charities: Centrepoint and the Big Jubilee Lunch, which is part of the Eden Project.