This is a simple, basic rhubarb bread pudding. The pudding is layered with finely diced rhubarb, bread cubes, sugar, and an egg custard mixture. Egg whites are beaten to give the pudding fluffy, souffle-like texture.
The pudding would be excellent with a rhubarb dessert sauce or a fresh strawberry sauce. See the tips and variations for a quick vanilla sauce. Add 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, or nuts for extra color and texture.
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but it is almost always prepared with sugar as a dessert or in pies. The stalks are tart and crunchy, and can be eaten raw or dipped in sugar. The leaves are toxic, however, and should never be eaten.
- 6 slices bread, cubed
- 2 cups finely diced rhubarb
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat the oven to 375 F (190 C/Gas 5). Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
- Arrange half of the cubed bread over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with the 2 cups of rhubarb and 1 cup of the granulated sugar. Later the rhubarb with the remaining bread cubes.
- In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the 3 egg yolks with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 cups of milk, and the vanilla extract. Beat the custard mixture until well blended.
- Fold the egg whites into the custard mixture with a spatula until well incorporated.
- Pour the custard mixture over the bread and rhubarb in the baking dish. Do not stir.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set and the pudding is lightly browned.
- Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Serve the rhubarb bread pudding with a sauce or serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Tips and Variations
- Strawberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding - Add 1 cup of sliced fresh strawberries to the rhubarb layer and proceed with the layer of sugar, bread, and custard mixture. Bake as directed.
- Quick Vanilla Sauce - Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and a pinch of salt; blend well. Add the sugar mixture to the boiling water. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Stir until the butter has melted. Spoon over bread pudding or pound cake. Refrigerate leftover sauce.