Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rhubarb Muffins

Move over Rhubarb Crumble, there's a new Rhubarb treat in town!
Rhubarb means Spring in Sweden.

It's also really the only seasonal, local, "fruit" we have for baking this time of the year. It's traditionally popular. Its' color is beautiful and I love its' tang  --- plus,  we have it in abundance ---  however, up until now, I've preferred using it exclusively as a crumble (or drink | here.).

Today, I couldn't wait to share our new discovery with you. We're all in love with these muffins and all prefer them topped in a different way. The recipe is simple, easy to tailor-to-taste and pretty. So, if you are like us and rhubarb season is in full roll, this a a great new treat for you to make or to bake with the kids.

It's time to bake cake --- in muffin form.  Continue below for the recipe.

We have frost warnings until June 1 which means we'll be waiting for a while before we have a bounty to harvest from our own garden. I've tried  many different rhubarb recipes throughout the years but, this is the only recipe I've found to rival the popularity of a crumble in our house and thought of you! Happy Baking! I hope you'll love this, too. 

Rhubarb Poppy Seed Muffins
12 muffins
6 T butter ( 3 oz/85 grams)
1 Egg
1/4 c (50g) Sugar
1/4 c (50g) Brown sugar
3/4 c (180 g) Sour Cream (or Greek Yogurt, can be substituted)
1/2 c (60 grams) Whole Wheat Flour
1 C (125 grams) Flour
3/4 t Baking Powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 salt
1T Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Optional: 2 T White Poppy Seed (I used while, unroasted poppy seeds which are white and have a softer texture and flavour )
2 C thinly sliced* rhubarb and toss with 1T sugar after slicing.

Preheat Oven: 376 F. Prepare muffin tins with paper muffin cups or by buttering and flouring your muffin pan.

Whisk egg with sugars. Stir in melted butter, then sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and poppy seeds. Mix these and then stir into the sour cream mixtures until it is just combined and a little lumpy. Fold in the rhubarb.

Fill tins. Bake 15-18 minutes until the tops are brown and tester comes out clean. Let rest for 2 minutes in tins, then remove to cool on a cooling rack. Glaze immediately with a lemon, powered sugar glaze (below)  or let cool. Once cool, these can be served without topping or with a click of sifted powdered sugar. 

* If your kids are like our kids, slice or dice the rhubarb thin -- they're not fans of large chunks or unevenly baked rhubarb. Keep it thick enough so that it doesn't turn into a sauce, but, slice it thin enough so that it "melts" into the baked good for happy kids!

lemon glaze:
3 T Lemon juice from fresh lemon
1 C confectioners sugar. 
Whisk together well and pour, spoon or brush over muffins when they are coming directly out of the oven. This only works if they are hot. 

More about Rhubarb:
Have you seen a rhubarb plant before? Do you grow rhubarb in your garden or do you buy stalks at your market? Have you seen these stalks in your garden or at the grocery store? When choosing rhubarb the stalks should be colourful and firm --- leaves green. To bake with it, you'll just need to trim and wash. If you're picking these in your garden, it's good to know that the leaves are not edible and that rhubarb is technically a vegetable and not a fruit. Have you ever tasted raw rhubarb? If you have, then, you'll understand why it's not eaten on it's own, like berries. 

Inspiration for this baking came from 1. the kids, 2. abundant rhubarb and 3. a recipe from, The Smitten Kitchen., for Plum muffins.  Reading Deb Perlmans writing was like having a girlfriend in the kitchen -- she's so entertaining and I learned something, too: did you know that a thick muffin batter is preferable when making fruit muffins so that the fruit floats and doesn't sink!  I never knew that before or had had this explained to me and had an ah ha moment when I read this --- it made a lot of sense. I 've always been a little worried, in the past, when I'd made muffins with batter that was definitely on the thick side and now understand that this is preferable with fruit muffins! Thank you, Ms. Perlman!

Something you might like:

(Notes for creators away from the kitchen:
The kitchen and workshop are often intertwined in my mind. Looking at these leaves makes me want to try working with them and concrete. Have you ever tried before? I'd love to hear from you, if you have. We have a a Summer ahead with a lot of travels, but, I have my eyes on some fun garden projects when we return. Working with concrete is on my list. If you'd worked with concrete and foliage before, I'd love to hear from you with any tips!)

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