What’s the perfect thing to do with leftover challah in the house? Bread pudding, of course. It is a wonderfully unpretentious, comforting dessert that is easy to make and not too heavy. Having tried and tested different breads for bread pudding, challah gets my vote (unsurprisingly). It’s better than brioche in flavor, and ultimately, it makes for the best sponge.
Now, if you are a fan of the classic bread and butter pudding, you are bound to fall for this spring adaptation. Sharp rhubarb, tender juicy strawberries, and mellow creamy ricotta — what’s not to like? Naturally, serve with plenty of fresh whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
For the roasted ruhbarb:
- 4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- juice and zest of one orange
For the bread pudding:
- 8-10 cups challah, sliced (preferably a bit stale)
- ¾ cup strawberries
- ¼ cup caster sugar (can also use granulated sugar)
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs
- 4 Tbsp butter plus extra for greasing the baking pan
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- fresh whipped cream or Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Then, lightly grease a 9×13 (1.5 liter) baking dish with butter and leave to one side.
- Put the rhubarb pieces in a medium bowl, and toss with the nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, orange zest, and juice. Place in a baking tray and add the cubed butter. Roast for 20-25 minutes (make sure they are soft, but still retaining their stick-like shape).
- While the rhubarb is roasting, make the milky mixture. Put the milk and cream in a saucepan with a ½ tsp salt and bring to the boil. Take of the heat and add the vanilla. While this mixture is cooling, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs and caster sugar. Then, slowly add the warm milky mixture to the eggs, continuously stirring.
- Spread the bread with butter and leave to one side. Then, drain the ricotta and place in a medium bowl. Add the icing sugar and mix until incorporated. Spread the buttered bread generously with the ricotta mixture.
- Layer the smothered bread, strawberries, and rhubarb in the ovenproof dish. Pour over the milky mixture and leave to sit for 30 minutes.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden in color and the mixture has set around the edges.
- Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes to allow the pudding to slightly set. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream or Greek yogurt.