In my attempt to keep up with the bounty of strawberries and rhubarb in my garden, I revisited a recipe I've had for 35 years... Did I just write 35 years? That's almost impossible to believe. But it's been even longer that I've been clipping, writing down, bookmarking, copying, and tearing out recipes and filing them away -- into BIG files. And maybe that's why this recipe for bread pudding with strawberry-rhubarb sauce has gotten overlooked the past few years. Six years, to be exact, since I last made this recipe. But thanks to the abundance of strawberries (some days yielding 5 pounds) and my endless supply of rhubarb (good thing I like it so much), my attack plan has been to default to a super easy strawberry-rhubarb sauce. And that reminded me of this simple bread pudding. When served warm, or at room temperature with the chilled sauce, it is heaven.
I have so many strawberries, I added some to the top of the bread pudding before baking. A sweet little addition.
And don't limit the strawberry-rhubarb sauce just to bread pudding... cornmeal waffles, vanilla ice cream, french toast, and yogurt all benefit from a serving of this sauce, just to name a few...
Country Living Magazine | 1982
• 12 to 14 slices from a French Baguette, 1/2-inch thick
• 3 to 4 tablespoons soft butter
• 3 large eggs
• 2 cups whole milk, or half milk-half cream
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch of sea salt
• Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce, recipe follows
1. Heat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 10-inch round or other shallow 2 quart baking dish. Butter each slice of bread on one side and arrange, buttered side down, in the dish with sides of the bread touching or overlapping slightly.
2. Beat together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well-blended. Pour over the bread slices. Allow the bread to soak up the custard for about 10 minutes.
3. Bake on the shelf just above the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly puffed and crusty. Serve hot or warm with the Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce.
• 3 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch pieces
• 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced in half (quartered if large)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon finely grated organic orange peel
1. In a medium-sized enameled saucepan, combine all the ingredients and let stand 10 minutes. Stir again, cover, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Increase heat and bring to a gentle boil, uncovered, over moderate heat. Cook until rhubarb is tender, but not mushy.
TAKE a LOOK:
There are three birthdays in our family during the months of April and May. When my girls were little, their birthday cakes were almost always chocolate, filled with sweet cherries, and frosted with whipped heavy cream. But lately, I ask what I should bake them for their birthdays. They never reply with a flavor or a type of cake. They do research for days, if not weeks, for a recipe they like, never taking into consideration the complexity or the availability of certain ingredients. I guess I should be flattered that my daughters have faith in my ability to pull off whatever it is they choose.
The recipe for this lemon layer cake appeared in my inbox, sent to me by my lemon-loving daughter about a week before her birthday. I made the lemon curd filling and the lemon cream cheese buttercream three days ahead and the cake layers the day before I planned to assemble it, making it seem less labor intensive. If you love lemon, this cake's for you. It really was fabulous and I liked it even more after a couple of days when the flavors merged and became more intense.
I received an Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Stand this year and it makes all the difference in frosting a cake. If you bake a lot of cakes and don't have one of these... get one!
The big candied violet on top was purchased by my sister on a recent trip to Germany. Loved it! I suppose I need to start growing organic violets, too...