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Roasted Rhubarb Summer Pudding

Roasted Rhubarb Summer Pudding may look a little fancy in these photos, but it is so simple to make. Store bought white bread is soaked with strawberry syrup and filled with roasted rhubarb.  Serve with a custard sauce, or just vanilla ice cream to make it even easier.

a rhubarb summer pudding with vanilla sauce on a plate

This old-fashioned British dessert is called Summer Pudding because it’s usually made in the height of summer with fresh, seasonal berries like currants and raspberries. Of course it’s not a “pudding” as Americans know pudding (a milk based custard), but a “pudding” in the British sense of the word, meaning dessert.

Since I’m making this with rhubarb, which is a springtime fruit (well, technically, a vegetable) in my corner of the world, I guess this is really a late spring pudding.

This really is a simple recipe. The only cooking involves roasting the rhubarb and reducing the juice. Rhubarb cooked on the stove produces a stewed fruit with a texture closer to applesauce than the chunky fruit filling that I wanted.

I decided to macerate and roast the rhubarb to keep some texture in the filling. In my Peach Pie post I explain why macerating fruit in sugar helps it keep it shape while cooking. Also, roasting intensifies the sweetness in the rhubarb which allowed me to use less sugar.

Scroll through the photos to see how to make Roasted Rhubarb Summer Pudding:

a bowl of macerating rhubarb cubes
Macerating the chopped rhubarb releases the juices and sets the shape of the fruit for cooking.
a tray of roasted rhubarb
Roasting intensifies the rhubarb flavor and sweetness and leaves the shape intact.
a bowl of roasted rhubarb filling for summer pudding
Toss the roasted rhubarb with the reduced juices for a simple filling.

This recipe is so easy because instead of making a tart crust or cake to encase the filling, you use packaged, white sandwich bread.

Don’t be tempted to use slices of cake or a super rich brioche instead. The bland flavor of white bread is perfect for soaking up the syrup and allowing the flavor of the fruit to shine.

I made a strawberry syrup to soak the bread because strawberry and rhubarb work so well together.

lining ramekins with bread for summer pudding
Place round of white bread in the bottom of each ramekin.
lining the sides of ramekins with bread for summer pudding
Cut rectangles of bread to form the sides of the puddings
a ramekin with a round of bread covering the rhubarb filling
Use another round of bread to top the filling.
showing summer puddings in ramekins ready for soaking
Soak the bread with the syrup and cover the pudding with the plastic wrap. Allow them to soak overnight.

I served the Roasted Rhubarb Summer Pudding with a traditional Crème Anglaise, or vanilla custard sauce. This flavor combination echoes the classic flavors of stewed rhubarb and custard.

If you don’t want to fuss with making the custard sauce just serve the pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead.

roasted rhubarb summer pudding 5
roasted rhubarb summer pudding 6

The puddings can be assembled several days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. You can use smaller ramekins for smaller portions or one large ramekin for a family style presentation.

Since you love rhubarb, I’ve got lots of other great recipes for you to try; Classic Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Crumb Pie, Rhubarb Fritters, Rhubarb Crumb Cake, Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, Rhubarb Crumble Bars and Rhubarb Shortcakes.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a rhubarb summer pudding with vanilla sauce on a plate

Roasted Rhubarb Summer Pudding

Yield: 6 portions
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes

This simple, old-fashioned dessert only looks fancy. It requires almost no cooking and uses plain white bread for the "crust".

Ingredients

Strawberry Syrup

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar

Roasted Rhubarb

  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) rhubarb, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 2 cups (16 oz, 448g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or pinch of table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Instructions

Strawberry Syrup & Roasted Rhubarb

  1. In a food processor, puree the strawberries with the granulated sugar. Strain the puree through fine sieve lined with cheesecloth to remove the seeds. Set the syrup aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the rhubarb with the sugar and salt, allow to macerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the juice from the rhubarb into a small pot. Place the rhubarb onto a parchment lined baking sheet and smooth to an even layer, don't mound up or it'll steam instead of roasting.
  4. Roast until the rhubarb is softened and beginning to brown (about 15-20 minutes). Don't stir the rhubarb while it's roasting or it will break down. If the pieces around the edges of the tray are getting very brown remove the tray from the oven and carefully lift the sides of the parchment paper to roll the pieces along the edge towards the middle of the tray. Shake the tray to redistribute the pieces and return to the oven.
  5. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the rhubarb to cool to room temperature.
  6. While the rhubarb is roasting, cook the rhubarb juice that you strained into a pot over medium high until it's reduced by 1/2 and is thickened to the consistency of heavy syrup. Cool to room temperature (I had 1 1/4 cups juice after reducing). Toss the cooled rhubarb with the thickened juices, ginger and lime juice.

Assembly

  1. Line six 12oz ramekins with a piece of plastic wrap so that it covers the inside of the ramekin and hangs over the sides.
  2. Cut a round of bread to fit exactly in the bottom of each ramekin. Trim the crusts from the bread and cut strips the height of the ramekin. Line the sides of the ramekin with the bread strips.
  3. Drizzle strawberry syrup over the bread lining the ramekins, you should use about 2/3 of the syrup to soak the bread. Divide the rhubarb filling among the 6 dishes, packing the fruit tightly
  4. Cut a circle of bread to top each pudding (if you run out of bread you can use scraps for this since it will be the bottom of the dessert). Use the remaining strawberry syrup to soak the bread on top of each pudding. You can reserve a couple of tablespoons for decorating the plate if you'd like.
  5. Fold the plastic wrap over the puddings and refrigerate overnight.
  6. To serve, peel back the plastic wrap from the top of each pudding. Flip the pudding onto a serving plate and lift off the ramekin. Peel away the plastic wrap. Serve with Crème Anglaise or Vanilla Ice Cream and garnish with fresh berries, if you'd like.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Janice Pattie

Monday 23rd of March 2020

I love summer pudding but have never tried it with rhubarb. This is a great recipe, thanks so much

Karen @ Seasonal Cravings

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

Love all your step by step photos!

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

Thanks! Sometimes a picture says a thousand words!

jacqueline bellefontaine

Thursday 19th of May 2016

what a good idea and you have made it look so pretty with the custard around it. Another recipe to try with my home grown rhubarb Thank you

Eileen Gray

Thursday 19th of May 2016

Lucky you to have home grown rhubarb! Enjoy!

Michelle @ The Last Food Blog

Thursday 12th of May 2016

I love this! Rhubarb and custard is my favorite childhood dessert. These puddings look so good Eileen, I may just try this one, thank you for this ;-)

Eileen Gray

Thursday 12th of May 2016

I know, rhubarb and custard are just the perfect pairing. Thanks!

theoldfatguy

Thursday 12th of May 2016

I love everything about this recipe. The rhubarb, the simplicity and I just love custard. I have saved it for future use. Thanks.

The Old Fat Guy

Eileen Gray

Thursday 12th of May 2016

Hey, thanks. It's such a useful custard sauce recipe that works with a lot of dishes. Thanks for reading!

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