SAVORY-SWEET RUTABAGA PUDDING

1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, diced into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rutabaga and 1 teaspoon salt, partially cover, and cook until the rutabaga is very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. (You will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter. Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and nutmeg. Drain the rutabaga, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mash the rutabaga thoroughly with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved rutabaga water as you mash. Add the egg mixture, raisins, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of pepper; stir to combine. Transfer the rutabaga pudding to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and dot with butter. Bake until lightly golden on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.

(from Farmer John’s Cookbook by John Peterson)


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