The more blog posts I've read over the past week or so, the more it seems that autumn is creeping into our consciousness, rather earlier than usual, I suspect due to to the none too summery summer we've been having! While I adore autumn for bringing wellie socks, reading in front of the fire, crisp woodland walks and well, Doctor Who (what?) I'm still hoping for a warm September because I don't feel I've had my full quota of sunshine before being plunged back into darkness.
I decided to share this Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding recipe with you because for me, it's the perfect way to celebrate the last of the summer rhubarb while looking forward to the warming comfort food of autumn. And it's divine with ice cream or custard, depending on which season you're currently leaning towards.
On family chalet holidays to Scotland during the summers of my childhood I used to be bought a bowl of bread and butter pudding from the onsite pub after a day of running around in the fresh air among the heather, and it was the ideal comforting end to the day, sometimes while watching a spot of Scottish singing and dancing. Great memories!
Serves 6 (or Anna three times)
6 slices white bread
1 oz butter
1/2 pint milk
The rind and juice of a small orange/satsuma
Pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brandy or rum
1 oz sugar
1/2 lb rhubarb, stewed
Remove the crusts from the bread and butter the slices on both sides before cutting each into two triangles. Grease a large dish, then arrange a layer of bread on the bottom and sides, followed by a layer of stewed rhubarb, then another layer of bread. Beat the eggs and milk together, then stir in the orange rind, juice, cinnamon and brandy or rum. Pour over the bread and leave to stand for an hour (this is really important because the soaking is the secret to a truly scrumptious b. and b. pud!). Sprinkle the sugar on top of the pudding just before going in the oven, then bake at 180C/ gas mark 4 for half an hour, or until the top is crusty and brown.
There are of course many variations of this pudding you can play with - I like raisins in mine but was sharing this with someone who doesn't, and who likes their pudding not too sweet (just call me Goldilocks) so instead of stewing the rhubarb with sugar I used the herb sweet cecily instead, which does the same job as sugar but isn't quite as saccharine. Sweet cecily is an ideal substitute for sugar if you're cooking for a diabetic, too.
Whether your Wednesday is summery or autumnal, I wish you a happy one,