Beautiful rhubarb. Photo credit: Taste of Nova Scotia*
As spring arrives in Nova Scotia, so does the growth of one of our local food treats – rhubarb! I LOVE rhubarb. Although technically a vegetable, in Nova Scotia we mostly treat it as a fruit. Rhubarb will be found growing in many people’s gardens and will then be found at the breakfast table for the next few weeks in various forms: warm from being stewed with maple syrup and a touch of lemon (perfect with vanilla yogurt and some granola!), and often chunked in muffins. The tartness of the rhubarb is perfectly offset by the sweetness of the struesel topping. The following is one of our favourite muffin recipes:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg (We use egg replacer)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cold butter
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, if using or add egg replacer. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and alternate with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in rhubarb.
Fill paper-lined or greased muffin cups three-fourths full.
Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a small bowl; then cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.
We hope you enjoy – either at your breakfast table or at ours! 😉
I have to admit that D’Arcy is the one who does the majority of the baking around here. Almost all of our breads & muffins, he has made himself before leaving to teach high- school in the morning. (Yes I know how lucky I am!)
This morning’s guests raved about his rhubarb muffins and asked for the recipe, so here it is:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg (he actually used egg replacer)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla (The original recipe calls for almond flavouring, but because we are a peanut & nut free home, he used vanilla)
1 1/2 cup diced rhubarb
Mix dry ingredients
Beat egg, add milk, oil & flavouring
Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients and stir to moisten.
Fold in rhubarb. Sprinkle tops with sugar before baking.
Bake at 375*F for 20 minutes.
Yield: 8 large muffins
* Variation: Instead of sprinkling sugar on muffins before baking, dip tops of warm muffins in sugar after baking.
** This is a versatile muffin – any other fruit in season are just as delicious! We’ve made them with strawberries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries, etc.