For Abby's Monthly Mingle, Spring Friut Sensations!
There's not a lot of fruit ready around St. Louis in the spring. But there will be rhubarb, soon. So, here's something else non-seafoody for spring. I made this a couple of years ago for my Brunch of Flowers, which I threw the day of the Lafayette Square House and Garden Tour. It went over with my guests spectacularly, even the one notorious very narrow eater. The barely (consciously) discernible flavor and aroma of rose is a stunningly perfect match for the rhubarb. I have a rhubarb plant in my garden this year, planted at a couple of years maturity. If it bears enough stalks to do this recipe, I will, and then I'll put up photos.
This based on a recipe by the French Gardener.
1 pound rhubarb
4 cups brioche, crusts removed and torn into chunks
2 cups good (non-ulta-pasteurized) cream
2 fresh eggs
2 fresh egg yolks
1 Tablespoon rose water
1 vanilla bean
Reserved rhubarb liquid
1/2 cup cream
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon rose water
1 Tablespoon butter
The night before, chop the rhubarb into 1/4-inch chunks and toss with 1/2 cup sugar. Let this sit overnight. When you're ready to prepare the pudding, drain off the and reserve the liquid.
Chop the rhubarb further, into a medium-course texture.
Put the brioche chunks in a bowl and toss the rhubarb into it.
Combine the cream, eggs, egg yolks, remaining 3/4 cups of sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of the rose water. Pour the cream mixture over the bread and toss gently.
Pour into a buttered ceramic baking dish; set the first dish into a second, larger baking dish, pour hot water around into the larger dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool until just warm.
Prepare the Sauce
Warm the cream. As the cream is warming, add the internal scrapings of the vanilla bean, and the rose water, then gently whisk in the egg yolk (be careful not to let it turn into a cooked egg dish).
Add the pat of butter and let it melt in as you whisk. Take a deep inhalation – the steam is probably smelling pretty divine right now; you deserve a bit of aroma therapy.
Stir until the sauce is the thickness you desire.
Put a ribbon of sauce on each plate, and set a serving of pudding upon the ribbon. Serve.
Organic rose petals, or really any organic edible flower makes a very nice garnish.