Rhubarb and ricotta bread and butter pudding


  • Serves 4 people

  • 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 (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 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
01   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.
02   Process ricotta, icing sugar and half the orange rind in a food processor until smooth.
03   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.
04   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.
05   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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