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Rhubarb and ricotta bread and butter pudding

The flavours of winter are on show in this rich pudding, featuring fruit toast, rhubarb jam and a brandy-spiked custard. Spoons at the ready.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling, standing
Rhubarb and ricotta bread and butter pudding

Ingredients

  • 200 gm firm ricotta
  • 30 gm pure icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 16 slices sourdough fruit bread
  • 50 gm rhubarb, thinly sliced
  • For greasing: soft butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 ml pouring cream (1 cup)
  • 185 ml milk (¾ cup)
  • 60 ml brandy (¼ cup)
  • 55 gm caster sugar (¼ cup)
  • For scattering: demerara sugar
Rhubarb jam
  • 400 gm rhubarb, coarsely chopped
  • 140 gm caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Method

  • 1
    For rhubarb jam, stir ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and stir occasionally until thick and jammy (6-8 minutes), then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 2
    Process ricotta, icing sugar and half the orange rind in a food processor until smooth.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 160C. Lightly toast fruit bread, spread half the bread slices thickly with ricotta mixture and rhubarb jam (reserve remainder), sandwich with remaining slices then cut each sandwich diagonally in half.
  • 4
    Spread reserved rhubarb jam in bases of 4 lightly buttered 500ml ovenproof bowls, arrange sandwiches on top, standing slices up slightly, and place slices of rhubarb in between.
  • 5
    Whisk eggs, cream, milk, brandy, sugar and remaining orange rind in a bowl, pour over bread and stand until custard is absorbed (10-15 minutes). Dot with reserved ricotta mixture, scatter to taste with demerara sugar, bake until custard sets and puddings are golden (15-20 minutes), then stand for 10 minutes. Serve hot, dusted with icing sugar.
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  • Author: Emma Knowles