Friday, 20 May 2016

Cheesy Rhubarb (or Raspberry) Bread Pudding

Very rich! Very delicious! In spite of being a rather homely bread pudding, this is really something for a special occasion. It's basically bread pudding with gobs of cheesecake in it. It's also kind of big, and easily could be cut in half for a smaller special occasion. 

I did bake mine in 2 pans, because I made one half with rhubarb and the other half with (frozen) raspberries, as Mr. Ferdzy loathes rhubarb. I haven't had a chance to try the raspberry version myself yet, but the noises I was getting were very enthusiastic. The puddings took 50 minutes to bake; the full recipe in one pan will take just a little longer. To make 8 cups of bread cubes, by the way, you will require pretty much a whole loaf of bread. You can trim off the crusts or not, as you like; however you should pick up your loaf of bread from the day-old rack.

Makes 12 servings
1 1/2 hours - 1/2 hour prep time

Cheesy Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Cook the Rhubarb & Prepare the Cheese:
4 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 cups mascarpone or other soft cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash, trim and slice the rhubarb. Put it in a pot with the 1 cup of sugar and simmer until the rhubarb is cooked and at least partially falling apart. Let cool.

Mix the remaining sugar and vanilla extract into the mascarpone or cream cheese.

Make the Pudding:
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sherry
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups of cubed stale bread
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, sherry, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Cut the bread into about 1" cubes. Use the butter to grease an 8" x 10" baking pan.

Put half the bread cubes into the pan and spread them out evenly. Dot the cream cheese mixture around by spoonfuls, evenly spaced. Set aside about 1 cup of the stewed rhubarb to use later as a sauce, and drizzle the remaining rhubarb over the bread and cream cheese. Spread the remaining bread cubes evenly over the top. Ladle the egg and milk mixture over the pudding, making sure to soak all the bread cubes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the pudding on a baking tray with sides, and put it in the oven. Pour enough water into the tray to fill it about half an inch deep. Bake for 1 hour.

Serve warm or cool with the extra stewed rhubarb as a sauce.

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