MV CSA – Rhubarb & Raspberry
In late spring, the options from local farms are limited, but there are two standouts. If you’re going to the farmers markets, you’ll note — assuming they haven’t been shut down by the COVID-19 response — that just as the rhubarb is at its peak, the raspberry crop starts to show up.
While strawberries are the traditional pairing with rhubarb, and can be used here in place of the raspberries, we prefer the raspberry for its tart flavor, which adds complexity and balance to this take on a classic summer berry pudding.
The rhubarb is roasted to enhance the flavor and the raspberry macerates in a mixture of honey with something many folks have in their pantry but may have never used on a dessert, balsamic vinegar.
A large dollop of maple-infused whipped cream and a few fine ribbons of fresh mint top off an easy dessert for a small crowd. This is easy to make. The only difficulty is waiting for the pudding to set up in the refrigerator.
RHUBARB AND RASPBERRY PUDDING WITH MAPLE WHIPPED CREAM
Start to finish: 6-8 hours
Active prep time: 25 minutes
1 loaf thick-sliced white bread or brioche
1 pound fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1⁄4 cup honey
Pinch of salt
WHIPPED CREAM AND GARNISH
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons dark maple syrup
12-15 mint leaves
Place the chopped rhubarb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 F oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl (preferably a 3- to 4-quart bowl with an 8- to 10-inch diameter) place the raspberry, balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar and salt. Set aside to macerate.
Next, remove the crusts from the slices of bread and discard.
Once the rhubarb is done, remove from the oven and add to the raspberry mixture. Mix vigorously, gently mashing into a chunky consistency.
Transfer the rhubarb-raspberry mixture into another bowl and line the side of the first bowl with slices of bread. Then, start scooping alternate layers of the rhubarb-raspberry mixture back over layers of the bread slices until you have used them the entire loaf.
Pour any remaining juices over the top resting the pudding.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set a small plate on top. On the plate, place a small weighted object, such as a can of tomatoes, and place the bowl in the refrigerator. Let sit for 6-8 hours. Overnight is best, but avoid letting it sit for more than two nights.
Just before serving, vigorously whisk together the heavy cream and maple syrup until soft peaks form. And chop the mint leaves.
Remove the plate and plastic wrap from the pudding and invert the pudding onto a platter. Slice it as you would a cake. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of mint to each slice.