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:
Judging by its continued abundance, my zucchini never received the memo that summer is over; I won't complain. There's nothing better than walking into the backyard and harvesting our dinner. Or in this case... the makings of a savory scone.
My plan is to mix up these Zucchini and Gruyère Scones again, freeze the unbaked disks on a sheet pan, then drop into bags to freeze. I'll pull them out to bake when I have a pot of soup on the stove this winter. I'm thinking they'd be perfect alongside a tomato cream soup (RECIPE).
Or, with an antipasto platter and a glass of wine...
•Savory Zucchini and Gruyère Scones•
from the September 2017 issue of Bon Appétit (adapted)
• Makes about 12 scones using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. I used a 2-inch cutter which made almost double that amount.
• 3 tablespoons baking powder
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
• 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
• 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
• 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated, excess liquid squeezed out with a kitchen towel
• 6 ounces Gruyère, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
• Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine baking powder, sugar, kosher salt, pepper, thyme, and 3 1/4 cups flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the size of small peas. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Pour in the cream and mix gently with a wooden spoon to distribute evenly. Add the zucchini and Gruyère and mix into the dough just to distribute. Using your hands, gently knead the mixture until the dough comes together. The less you work the dough, the more tender the scones will be. This dough will be somewhat drier than most scone recipes, but the zucchini will release additional moisture during baking.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 2-inch thick disk. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and roll out to a 1-inch thick disk. Punch out scones with the biscuit cutter (it helps to brush the inside of the cutter with oil to help release the scones); place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 2-inches apart. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if storing unbaked scones in freezer, wait to finish with the cream and salt until baking).
3. Bake scones, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
TAKE a LOOK:
I often think, I'm taking all this time to photograph a meal I have never eaten before. What if once I taste it, I don't like it -- time wasted! But instead I am wondering... will figs still be available to me in the coming weeks so I can make this salad over and over again?
My husband started on his salad long before I did mine, and I was probably rolling my eyes when he kept telling me how good it was. I usually put a lot more effort into our evening meals and thought this might be his way of telling me -- I like a good lunch; make a hearty salad more often! But it didn't take me long once I started eating to agree with him and wonder... who do I thank first? Sylvia Fountaine for the recipe? Trader Joe's for the beautiful figs I've had trouble locating all summer? Cypress Grove for my favorite goat cheese, Humboldt Fog? Actually, I probably made this salad because I have more kale in my garden than I know what to do with... So, thanks, Eileen!
It all comes down to the ingredients. Purchase the freshest figs that are firm and wrinkle free. Toast the farro grains in a dry pan for about 2 minutes before you add the water. Bypass the logs of goat cheese and get some Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove -- you will love it! Most of the groceries around me sell the Humboldt Fog for $29.00./lb. COSTCO has Humboldt Fog at $17.00/lb. I hope they never discontinue carrying it because I will always continue to buy it.
I've been thinking long and hard lately about the future of LivingTastefully. This fall it will be 10 years since I started my blog. Back then, there weren't many food blogs compared to the number there are now worldwide. Is LivingTastefully even relevant any longer? Several people I have mentioned this to seemed very disappointed. I really appreciate everyone that has followed LivingTastefully over the years. The one comment that has stayed with me (and I do not remember the exact words) was, "It's still relavent. We all need beauty, style, and good taste", (was that close A. R.?). Knowing it means a lot to someone else, means a lot to me. Maybe all I needed was a little time off. There are just so many other things I want to do, but I suppose I can do a little of each. As of now, I will continue with L.T and see where it goes...
Farro Salad with Kale, Figs and Goat Cheese