Rhubarb, Pecan and Buttermilk Pudding; Buttermilk Ice Cream
Glorious rhubarb! It’s amazing how you can taste the change in season with some fruits and vegetables. Rhubarb is one of those magical seasonal taletellers. Early on in the season the forced rhubarb is tender and bright pink with a more delicate, perfumed flavour, then as the season evolves the outdoor rhubarb arrives with its more earthy and robust flavour and slightly browner colour.
At the British Larder we are spoilt with a wide range of fantastic local suppliers, but I’m sure if you have a good look around your area you will find some good local suppliers too. We get our supply of outdoor rhubarb from the charming Piers and Suvie from High House Farm in Sudbourne. They are model farmers with their orchards of apples and cherries groomed to perfection and immaculately grown, just like their wonderful outdoor rhubarb.
If you do not have enough time to make the ice cream then serve these puddings with pouring cream or custard instead. You can also bake the pudding in one large dish instead of making individuals, increase the cooking time to 40 minutes.
Ingredients & Method
For the buttermilk ice cream
- 700ml buttermilk
- 120g caster sugar
- 200ml whipping cream
- 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the rhubarb and buttermilk puddings
- melted butter, for greasing
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g light soft brown sugar
- 1/2 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 2 medium whole eggs
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 140ml buttermilk
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- a pinch of table salt
- 200g outdoor rhubarb, washed and drained
- 75g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
First, make the buttermilk ice cream. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well mixed. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn until frozen (following the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model). Alternatively, pour the chilled mixture into a shallow, freezer proof container, cover with a lid and freeze until firm, whisking the mixture 3 or 4 times during freezing (every hour or so) to break down the ice crystals and ensure an even-textured result.
Allow the ice cream to soften slightly at room temperature or in the fridge before serving.
Once the ice cream is ready, make the rhubarb and buttermilk puddings. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease 6 silicone deep muffin moulds (or a standard 6-hole deep muffin tin) with melted butter and set aside.
Cream the softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla seeds together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the whole eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the egg yolks. Stir in the buttermilk. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt over the creamed mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon to make a fairly thick batter.
Cut the rhubarb into 1cm slices and mix with the pecan nuts. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared moulds, dividing it evenly, and then top this with half of the rhubarb and pecan mixture. Spoon the remaining batter over the top, then divide the remaining rhubarb and pecan mixture between the moulds, placing it on top of the batter.
Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until well-risen, cooked and golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave the puddings to cool in the moulds for about 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, un-mould each pudding on to a serving plate. Serve warm with scoops of the buttermilk ice cream alongside.
The buttermilk ice cream will make more than 6 portions, so store any leftovers in the freezer. Once made and frozen, the buttermilk ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.