Rhubarb & rye bread pudding

Rhubarb & rye bread pudding

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

Rhubarb thrives in cold climates, making it very popular in all Nordic countries. It keeps well, fresh or when made into compote so you can enjoy it for as long as possible. Just-picked rhubarb is a lovely deep red colour and the stalks should be thin. When you handle it, feel the stems springing back. Pick it early in the year as soon as it pops up through the soil. Rhubarb has a distinctive tart flavour that makes it a versatile ingredient for many sweet and savoury dishes. In this recipe it balances well with the creamy, rich bread pudding.

Use a lighter rye bread, one that is called rye bread but actually contains wheat flour, not a heavy authentic Danish rye bread.


Quantity Ingredient
3 large rhubarb stalks, chopped into 3 cm cubes
80g caster sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250ml full-cream milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
625g rye bread, cut into 5 cm cubes
40g light brown sugar

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
150g natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey
50ml full-cream milk
2 tablespoons whole roasted hazelnuts


  1. Put the rhubarb in a saucepan and toss with the 2 tablespoons caster sugar. Cook over a low heat with the lid on for 4–6 minutes, until the rhubarb collapses. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a small baking dish.
  3. Whisk together the milk, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  4. Spread out half the bread cubes in the buttered dish and top with half the rhubarb. Repeat with the remaining bread and rhubarb.
  5. Pour the milk mixture over the layered bread and let it sit for 5 minutes, occasionally pushing down the bread into the liquid.
  6. Dot the top of the pudding with butter and sprinkle over the brown sugar. You don’t need much sugar here; it’s mainly for looks and to give it a slight crunch.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, until the corners of the cubed bread on top are darkish brown. Serve the pudding warm.
  8. Whiz the yoghurt, honey, milk and hazelnuts together in a blender and serve with the pudding. It is also very good with ice cream or cream.
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