Rhubarb muffins

31 May

Hooray! First of all, it’s spring! And summer is here soon, though it feels like it’s already summer here today. 18 degrees C and sunshine – that’s summer, whether I’m here in Denmark or home in Norway. And secondly, and most importantly, rhubarb is in season! Nothing says spring or early summer more than rhubarb desserts and muffins. Although I love rhubarb in a strawberry/rhubarb pie, this soup, my mother’s rhubarb compote, rhubarb crumble……..this, is what exites me most! This is first on my rhubarb-list. Then comes the pie, that’s really good too…and it brings back memories from past summers, when my family have friends over and we just sit eating, talking, laughing and munching into the Norwegian summer night that never gets the chance to go dark, before the sun rises again. Lovely. But that’s another story. I’m a sucker for nostagia, especially the summer-related kind. Can’t help it. Now for the muffins. These darlings are a newer acquaintance, but instantly became a hit in my family, and I’ve been making them at least a couple of times every rhubarb season since. What surprised me the most when I first made them, was how incredible moist they were. We actually had to get a spoon, and scoop out the delicious muffin-rhubarb-goo and eat it like a mini dessert from a paper bowl. But the good thing about it, although I like to eat things with a spoon in general even if it’s not needed, I find it very comforting, was that we could really scrape every last bit of muffin out of the muffin cup. Very nice. And economic and ethically right, not to waste food. Which brings me to why I made these muffins right now. We have a group project at school to prepare a meal for about 200 people, sell it, and make all kinds of budgets, PR, hygienic controls. It’s quite a project. And it has to be a somewhat sustaineable meal. So we decided to go for a koncept of exploiting the nature in a good way, to go out and find edibles in the forest, your backyard or on the way to work for that matter. To use whatever’s in season, and to shop locally. So since rhubarb is in season, I suggested it, since a lot of people have it in their gardens. But mostly, to have an excuse to make them. What can I say, they are de-licious. And a smash hit with my fellow group members. And it looks really pretty. I’ve never had that purple rhubarb before, and it gave the muffins an almost plumlike pinkish colour. But tastewise, it’s all the same. Phew.


Rhubarb Muffins

100 g butter
2 dl sugar
3 eggs
ca 2 dl flour
1,5 teaspoon baking powder
0,5 dl rhubarb juice
250 g rhubarb 0,5 dl sugar
0,5 dl water

Cut the rhubarb into pieces and bring to a boil together with sugar and water. Boil until the rhubarb softens. Strain the rhubarb to squeeze out the juice. In a bowl combine the sugar and butter and stir. Add 1 egg at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Turn the rhubarb syrup carefully into the batter. (If you use the purple rhubarb, to make a marbled effect. Or just turn it in if you want a pink batter! If you use the pale rhubarb it doesn’t really matter.) (I also made a batch of unmarbled muffins, so you can skip the straining if you don’t bother or want to. That works too! But I think I’d do it, I think it makes them so deliciously moist.) Fill the cups 3/4 full, and top with a spoon of rhubarb in the middle. Bake for about 10 minutes for the small kind, and 15 minutes for large. Sift with powding sugar or make a simple glaze, and give them a whirl. And dig in, armed with a spoon for maximum pleasure…. They’re best eaten while warm, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Or served lukewarm, that also works. Or cold with a warm cup of tea as a late night snack when the Scandinavian summer air turns crisp. These are flexible babies! But whatever you do – just do it. Make them.

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