It seems that I’ve been bitten by the bread pudding bug.
I mean, I usually try to mix up the desserts you see around here since, you know, variety is not only the spice of life but also the key to any successful longterm relationship. And I’d like to think we are in this together, guys. For the long haul.
But whereas the bread pudding I posted two weeks ago was rich in the way that only chocolate-smothered-pretzel bread can be, this is more of a breath of fresh air bread pudding situation.
It has vegetables (rhubarb). And fruit (blueberries). And if we just ignore the heavy cream, it is surely a health food and absolutely a complete meal.
Throw a berry on it and call it breakfast. That’s just how I roll during the summer months.
Words to live by. (FTW.)
And really, when you’ve had to endure two Mets v. Yankees games, an hour long traffic jam in the Citifield parking lot, and the realization that the class that you started med school with has graduated and will be, like, real live doctors while you will still be staring at fluorescent cells under a microscope and failing at cloning day in and day out…
..trust me, you will crave some carb on fruit (on veggie) action, too.
And then, with just one bite of this bread pudding all of this weight will be lifted. You’ll believe that anything, even the impossible – even the Mets sweeping the Yankees (which is pretty much beyond impossible) – could happen (AND.DID).
You’ll talk your mom down from some serious Citifield-induced road rage.
You’ll think, no worries, I’ll graduate some day.
That, my friends, is the power of bread pudding. Specifically, this one.
And in case you didn’t notice, it’s kind of got this red, white and blue thing going on.
A little late for Memorial Day but perfectly early for the 4th of July. Do it. You know you want to.
So, can we just talk about berries for a second? And why it is super important to buy organic.
You see, almost all berries fall onto the dirty dozen list. They have super thin skins which allows them to absorb a ton of the pesticides that non-organic farmers spray all over them. So when you’re deciding between whether to spend your money on organic berries or, say, organic avocados…it’s a much better idea to spend a little bit extra on the berries and get non-organic avocados because pesticides can’t really permeate their super thick shell and get to the edible insides.
I am also of the opinion that organic berries taste better than non-organic, but that is just me.
Whole Foods has a GREAT selection of organic berries to choose from and, in fact, they’re having a one day sale on organic blueberries TODAY which is the perfect excuse for you to get over to the store to buy the ingredients for this bread pudding. What kismet.
To encourage everyone to head on over to Whole Foods to pick up some organic berries, Whole Foods has offered a GIVEAWAY of a $75 gift card to my readers! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your favorite use of berries is! Giveaway winner will be announced next Friday.
Also, the winner of the Carapelli olive oil giveaway from last week is Grace of A Southern Grace! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your prize!
One year ago…Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Asparagus, String Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives
Two years ago..White Beans and Cabbage
Three years ago…POM Velvet Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting
Rhubarb, Blueberry and Ginger Brioche Bread PuddingServes 10-12, adapted from Bon Appetit May 2010
- 1 cup raspberry preserves
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 1/2 lb rhubarb, ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1/2-inch wide pieces
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 8 (or more) 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche or egg bread, cut lengthwise in half (I used whole wheat challah)
- 1 pint blueberries
- Whisk the preserves and 1/2 cup water in a heavy large skillet over medium heat until the preserves dissolve. Sprinkle the ginger and rhubarb into the skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the rhubarb is tender but still intact, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a large fine-mesh sieve set over a large pot. Let drain 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and heavy cream in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Simmer. Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs temper and don’t cook.
- Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. Arrange enough bread slices in it to cover the bottom (there will be some spaces). Spoon the strained rhubarb evenly over these. Top with the remaining read. Sprinkle with the blueberries. Pour the custard over.
- Bake the pudding until just set in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Boil the liquid that was strained from the rhubarb until it is reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Keep warm. Brush the top of the pudding with some of the rhubarb syrup. Serve pudding topped with more syrup and whipped cream.