By Lee Holmes
Need a break from your regular granola? Why not try my Layered Berry and Rhubarb Breakfast Pudding? The rhubarb/berry mix can be pre-made the night before, so it’s easy to pull together during morning rush hour.
Stewing fruit is a kitchen art that has been lost in modern times. Even the thought of the word “stewing” tends to evoke images of a housemaid hundreds of years ago, stirring a large pot slowly over a bubbling stove; something that many of us just don’t feel we have the time for in our rushed modern lifestyle.
But I think culturally it’s so interesting to see the 180 degree cultural shift towards more “artisan” ways of living and preparing food. There’s a genuine desire to get back to the way things were traditionally made and prepared through fermenting beverages such as kombucha, and making sauerkraut and sourdough from scratch. Stewing fruits is a beautiful, simple and frugal way to enjoy the mindful practice of traditional food preparation in your own home.
Stewed fruit recipes were extremely common in the past, before enhanced storage facilities and modern processing techniques. Pre the days of year-round fruit availability in supermarkets, home cooks would savour the flavours of the seasons by preserving fruit in different ways. After a seasonal haul of apricots for example, kitchen folk dried as much as they could and found other ways to plump it up throughout the winter. Fruits could also be extended in their lifespan by cooking and stewing if they were looking like they were passing their used by date.
Stewed fruit is perhaps the best way to use up all of that fruit you’ve hoarded on a fruit picking excursion. It’s also a great way to enjoy frozen fruit you may have stored as a result of a berry picking session or bargain bulk buy at your local farmers market.
This Layered Berry and Rhubarb Breakfast Pudding recipe is a gorgeous breakfast or dessert that can utilise seasonal berries and lovely fresh rhubarb. As a rhubarb fan I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like the tangy taste and radiant rose-red colour that these divine stalks bring to a dish, especially when baked in pies and crumbles or stewed and spooned over porridges.
Stewing the rhubarb and berries slowly together releases the bright red colours; indicating high amounts of beneficial antioxidants such as heart-friendly proanthocyanidins. Enjoy these traditional stewed fruits with the coconut cream for a delightful and cosy dessert, or make extra of the stewed fruits to eat as a snack with yoghurt and toasted nuts and seeds, or if you really can’t give it up just yet, spooned over your morning granola.
LAYERED RHUBARB AND BERRY BREAKFAST PUDDING
To make rhubarb:
- 750 gms rhubarb trimmed and chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
- 250 gms strawberries
- 125 gms raspberries (reserve some for topping)
- 100g coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 orange, zested and juiced (reserve some zest for topping)
- 1 inch knob ginger grated
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
- ¼ cup water
- 270 mls coconut cream
Place rhubarb and berries in large saucepan and place coconut sugar, orange juice and zest, ginger, vanilla and water over the top.
Bring to a boil and simmer gently until soft, about 10-15 minutes until rhubarb/berry mixture is cooked but still holds it shape.
Remove from pan and place layers into a jar. Start with rhubarb mixture and then coconut cream and repeat until all ingredients are used.
Top with extra berries, orange peel and shredded coconut.