By this time of the year in old Klondike days, food supplies were running a bit low.
However, in most cabins there was flour for bread baking and a few tins of fruit.
In my perusal of food references (“grub”) in the Yukon Archives, I find many references to canned pears.
Canned pears together with our prolific Yukon rhubarb? What a pair to make a warm, comforting and delicious Bread Pudding.
The old-timers made their bread, but you can go buy some from the bakery or the grocery store.
Experiment with the breads and you will find that a heavy sourdough from our wonderful Alpine Bakery will give a different result from a store-bought white bread.
Also, if you went crazy freezing rhubarb last spring, this is a great way to use it up so that you can make way for the new crop.
Rhubarb Pear Bread Pudding
4 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen
¾ cup apricot jam
? cup sugar
4 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 can (398 ml) pears, cubed
½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
6 cups cubed, day-old bread
2 tablespoons lemon zeste (grated lemon rind)
½ cup chopped dried apricots or fresh or dried cranberries
2 tablespoons butter
Prepare a 9″ x 13″ or deep oval 8-cup Pyrex pan by greasing with butter or margarine.
Cube the bread cubes.
Dry them out by either spreading on a baking sheet and heating in a 25OF oven for one hour or allow to sit on the counter overnight.
In a medium bowl, mix together the rhubarb, jam and lemon zeste.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with sugar; whisk in milk, vanilla and salt.
Stir the bread cubes gently with the egg/milk mixture.
Add the snipped-up apricots or cranberries.
Stir in the rhubarb mixture and the pears.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the top with almonds (if using).
Cut butter into small bits and dot the pudding with it.
You can wrap and refrigerate the pudding for at least one hour before baking.
Place the Bread Pudding pan into a large roasting pan and fill with hot water two-thirds of the way up to your bread pudding casserole.
It is safest to put the roaster/Pyrex into the oven first, then pour the hot water in just halfway then add a bit more water. This is called a “bain marie” and will allow the pudding to be tender without drying (an important quality of a good bread pudding).
Bake at 35OF for about 45 minutes or until the pudding is puffed.