Last weekend I came across some rhubarb at my local organic market and I snagged it. My grandfather used to keep me in the rhubarb, giving me so much each year that I would dice and freeze it in large freezer bags so I was never in danger of running out! This is my first summer without Grandpa’s rhubarb, and I’ve had a noticable emotional connection to this unusual veggie every time I’ve seen it since.
This spring I’ve already made Raspberry-Rhubarb Crisp, Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie, and Cobbler with Rhubarb; I’ve got big plans for another Rhubarb-Berry Pie for July 4, as well! But the thought occurred to me that there must also be a way to incorporate this uniquely tart veggie into a quick bread (my favorite place to hide unusual ingredients from my unsuspecting family!). So I decided to give it a try.
Rhubarb needs a mate — like a yin and a yang — to balance its tart flavor, and I bet my recipe would work well with other “yangs” too: apples or raspberries, perhaps? This incarnation utilized the strawberries I already had on hand, and I like that it is still the old familiar combination of strawberries and rhubarb, but in an unexpected and delicious muffin medium!
These moist little cakes have a sweet topper that reminds me of my Rhubarb Crisp, but they are definitely muffins – compact, easy to eat (several), and yummy for breakfast, tea or a snack!
So grab some rhubarb before it’s too late and give this new recipe a try. It’s the perfect taste of summer, in a muffin cup!
Preheat oven to 375 F (static).
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light. Add egg or egg substitute and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Whisk together the dry ingredients and stir in, alternating with milk until fully mixed. Stir in chopped fruit. Scoop to fill muffin cups 2/3-3/4 full; the batter will be thick.
In a small bowl, stir together the pecans, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or two butter knives – when mixed, it will resemble a coarse meal. Sprinkle on top of the muffins or mini-loaves.
Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, mini-loaves for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
Remove to cool on wire rack before serving or cutting.
Yield: 16-18 muffins