Rhubarb and orange betty recipe

Puddings and cakes

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
This pudding is a perfect recipe for home-grown rhubarb © Arnhel de Serra

This pudding is a perfect recipe for home-grown rhubarb


  • 85g (3oz) butter
  • 115g (4oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 450g (1lb) rhubarb 85–115g (3–4 oz) caster or soft brown sugar
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange


An original 19th-century Brown Betty was made with apples, breadcrumbs and suet and was a popular pudding with lower-paid countryfolk.

Delicious Brown Betty can be made with other fruits, but the amount of sugar must be adjusted accordingly. Some of the most successful are rhubarb (as here), plums, gooseberries, damsons, blackcurrants, blackberries and cherries.

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously to prevent burning, until the crumbs are light golden in colour.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 2.5cm (1in) lengths, then mix with the sugar, orange rind and juice.
  3. Butter a 1.2 litre (2 pint) ovenproof dish and fill with alternate layers of rhubarb and breadcrumbs, finishing with a layer of crumbs.
  4. Sprinkle with extra sugar and cover with foil.
  5. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4 for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 25–30 minutes, or until the top is brown and crisp and the rhubarb underneath is soft.
  6. Serve hot with Vanilla Custard Sauce or cream.

(c) National Trust Books/Sara Paston Williams, 2010.

Extracted from Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings by Sara Paston-Williams (2010)

Loved these recipes? Buy the Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Puddings recipe book.