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magnolia bakery-inspired strawberry and rhubarb pudding

All the goodness of Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding, but made with the summer-staple combination of strawberry and rhubarb instead of banana. It is sweet with a mild tartness that is perfect for lazing around on hot late July and August days.

Funny story: I originally only made the crumble top because it is verrrrry difficult to make a trifle/pudding look photogenic. Turns out that it might have been my favorite part! It added a little hint of crisp that was the perfect finishing touch.

Much of the recipe comes straight from the Magnolia cookbook, so you know it's going to be good. Though it can take a while to make -- especially with the added rhubarb step -- I promise you that the result is worth it!


Servings: 15

Time: 40 minutes preparation & 8+ hours to rest

Ingredients (Pudding):

  • 2 pounds (~1000 grams) of rhubarb stalks

  • 1 (12 oz.) box Nilla Wafers

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 3 cups frozen strawberries

  • 3 cups (600 grams) sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water

  • 1/2 cup normal temperature water

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box French vanilla instant pudding mix

Ingredients (Optional -- but recommended -- Crumble):

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1 cup flour

  • 2/3 cup butter

Directions (Pudding):

  1. Clean the rhubarb stalks and cut them into pieces about the width of a banana slice, about 5 to 8mm.

  2. Place the rhubarb into a large pot and add the sugar and the 1/2 cup water.

  3. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat so that it begins to stew. Mix every so often.

  4. Meanwhile, take out a large bowl and combine the sweetened condensed milk and ice water. Beat together for at least a minute so that they are well combined.

  5. Add the pudding mix and beat well again, this time for at least 2 minutes.

  6. Cover and place the condensed milk/pudding mixture into the fridge, and leave for at least four hours. Be careful; it will be watery if you don't let it set up long enough.

  7. Go back to checking on the rhubarb. After around 10-15 minutes, the rhubarb should start to get a texture similar to a banana. An easy way to check for this is putting a spoon into a piece and seeing if you get a dent. Once that happens, remove the rhubarb with a slotted spoon and place in a container in the fridge.

  8. Also save the syrup, in another container in the fridge.

  9. Last but not least, take the frozen strawberries out and cover and put in the fridge so that they melt.

  10. Relax while waiting for the pudding mixture to solidify.

  11. Once about ready, cut the strawberries into slices.

  12. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.

  13. Gently fold the whipped cream and rhubarb syrup into the pudding mixture until no streaks of pudding remain.

  14. Take out a large glass trifle bowl with 4-5 quart capacity (or you can use 9x13 baking dish).

  15. Layer the Nilla Wafers, followed by a layer of rhubarb, then strawberries, and then custard mix. You can break up the wafers to make sure there is a full layers. You don't have to use the whole box of wafers or all of the fruit -- just make sure that each layer is properly laid.

  16. Once done, cover and chill in the fridge for another 4-8 hours. You can either enjoy after the 4-8 hours, or add the additional step below.

Directions (Crumble):

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Mix brown sugar, oats, and flour, in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and some baking spray, and spread the crumbles into an even layer.

  4. Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until the oats have browned nicely.

  5. Place the crumble over the top layer of the pudding.

  6. Enjoy!


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