Rhubarb Bread Pudding
When I was researching Darina Allen for the game-changer series, I ran across this recipe. My mother's recipe for bread pudding is our all time favorite (my kids won't let me make any other kind), but how could I resist trying a rhubarb bread pudding? It was excellent, but more of a souffle bread pudding than the dense bread puddings I am accustomed to. Here's a big plus: this is one of those dishes that is even better if it sits overnight in the fridge before baking; so you can prepare it a day in advance and bake it the next day.
Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding
Via Epicurious, March 2007 by Darina Allen, From A Year at Ballymaloe Cookery School
1 pound red rhubarb
4 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
12 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
4 extra large free-range eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon extra sugar, for sprinkling on top of pudding
Garnish: whipped cream
Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces. Put into a dish and sprinkle with sugar. Let macerate for an hour.
Butter the bread. Arrange four slices, buttered-side down, in one layer in the buttered baking dish. Scatter half the rhubarb over the bread, and cover with another layer of bread, buttered-side down. Scatter the remaining rhubarb on top and cover with the remaining bread, buttered-side down.
Whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer over the bread. Sprinkle the extra spoonful of sugar over the top. Let the mixture stand, covered loosely, for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake in a water bath — the water should be boiling and come halfway up the sides of the baking dish — in the middle of the preheated oven, for about 1 hour or until the top is crisp and golden. Server the pudding warm, with some cream or softly whipped cream.