A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

grapefruit pudding

I know: it sounds weird. I thought the same thing the first time I encountered grapefruit pudding. It was at a cookbook club meeting, one that I’d helped plan, around The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook. The meeting was in October, which made Apple Upside-Down Cake the logical choice for dessert. To me, at least. “But that’s so expected,” my planning partner lamented, “let’s do the grapefruit pudding.”

“It’s a seasonal cookbook,” I insisted with my trademark self-righteousness. Self-righteousness never wins. It’s a clinically proven fact.


I was a little miffed about the grapefruit pudding, to be honest. But then I remembered that the whole point of joining a book club is to stretch and grow, to expose yourself to ideas and viewpoints and preferences that are not like your own, to challenge your beliefs and assumptions, to become A Better Person. Plus, I ate that grapefruit pudding and it was damn good.

grapefruits, having been squeezed

I think of it often at this time of year. Of all the seasonal transitions, winter to spring is the weirdest. Last weekend we got 18 inches of snow — big, fat flakes of heavy wet snow that knocked down trees and power lines. On Monday morning when I left for work, it was 0°F; driving home on Wednesday evening the thermometer read 57°F. Then more snow, and now back to balmy. She’s a fickle creature, that Mother Nature.

grapefruit pudding cake

I, however, remain steadfast in my devotion to grapefruit as a bridge from winter to spring, and grapefruit pudding is especially lovely for these fickle in-between days. It’s soft and warm and comforting, with a reassuring richness that’s beautifully balanced by the refreshing zing of grapefruit. The top bakes up light and airy, and the tender, cake-like crumb gives way to a bright citrus-y custard with a pleasant — almost amusing — springlike jiggle.

recipe from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, by Michelle & Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price

15 responses

  1. anewbiesaddiction

    Oh, wow! This looks amazing. Grapefruit is surely one of my favorite fruits and I never knew what fun would be done with them! But this! Looks so great.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm

  2. Whoa. My world has just been rocked by the concept of a cookbook club. (Also, yes, your puddings look good too.)

    March 14, 2012 at 1:06 am

    • The cookbook club is pretty awesome, actually. It’s like any other book club, only the books are all cookbooks. We meet about every other month and pick a new cookbook each time. We plan a menu prior to the meeting, and then as people arrive they get copies of a recipe to start working on. Over dinner we chat informally about the book (and other stuff). And when we did Dorie Greenspan’s book last winter, she called us during dessert!

      March 14, 2012 at 7:02 am

    • I second on the cookbook club!!! What a great idea!

      April 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

  3. soupogoil

    Looks so good, and not to complicated….is creme fraiche french for fresh cream?

    March 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm

  4. jessiekanelos

    Gorgeous photos! I love seeing the process of the recipe in the squeezed grapefruits!


    April 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

  5. This looks delish! love the crunchy top it forms.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

  6. This post caught my eye on Recommended as I adore grapefruit but never eat it enough. This is the best thing I’ve seen all week, I then scrolled down to find yet more amazing recipes. I am officially coveting your blog. You now have a new UK based follower :) I’m looking forward to trying this puppy out at the weekend!

    May 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  7. Your photographs are fantastic; are you a professional food photographer?

    July 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

  8. wow that texture of the pudding is perfection. Looks very very nice indeed.

    November 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

  9. I can see that you haven’t been posting lately, but I hope you’ll start again. I found your blog shortly after starting mine, and you have wonderful stuff here. Not to mention that I love the way you write!

    January 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

  10. MU

    I’m gonna try this :-) looks gorgeous

    February 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  11. Annnnd, I’m back. Looking at this grapefruit pudding recipe and it looks amazing. I have to get my husband to try this!

    February 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

  12. Reblogged this on New Pi Eats and commented:
    What an idea! And you thought you’d seen every kind of pink this time of February… here’s a new one (at least to me) with zing. Do you have other ideas for an unconventional Feb. 14 dessert?
    This one’s also off the beaten chocolate-track (not that I have any problem with that path : ).

    February 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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