Rhubarb muffins

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Rhubarb season is finally upon us! My favorite season? At least one of my favorite vegetables! Yes – it´s a vegetable!!!

When rhubarb arrives and you see various recipes for rhubarb crumble, lemonade and muffins – it´s a sure sign of spring and a promise of summer. I might try out a new recipe each year, but I usually fall back to crumbles and this old classic: My mother´s rhubarb muffin. Mum knows what she´s doing already, so no need to change or tweak this. It´s simply perfect.

So when I visited my parents yesterday, I made a request for some rhubarb, and in my defense the saying says to pick it within midsummer which is only a few days away….So I took home a large bunch to do some baking. When my father saw me and the rhubarb he suggested the muffins. He loooves them. So do I. Actually, everyone does. So the idea was planted in my head: What better way to start rhubarb-baking-season than with a real family classic!

So, today, equitted with rhubarb, eggs, butter and apron I realized: The recipe is in my recipe book which currently is located in copenhagen! And my mother is out of town!!! What to do? Well, luckily, it´s not the only rhubarb-muffins-recipe on the planet (one of the best, perhaps) so I turned to google as I often do and found what seemed like a good replacement!

And indeed it was! Actually, in a way this is a more extravagant version of the usual…

Maybe a little less gooey, but my go-to-recipe is so gooey you need a spoon, so that´s maybe a little overexaggerated for some! 😉 Anyway – both equally delicious!

I hereby declare rhubarb-season for opened!

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Rhubarb muffins

Rhubarb compote/ Rabarberkompot
10 oz rhubarb / 300 g rabarbra
1/2 vanillabean/ ½ vaniljestang
2.5 oz sugar / 70 g sukker

Clean and cut the rhubarb in inch-sized chunks. Pour rhubarb, sugar and vanillaseads and bean in a pan and stir. Cook on medium heat until everything is soft and compote-looking.

Rens rabarbraen og skjær dem i skiver på 2-3 cm
Ha rabarbra, sukker, vaniljekorn og den halve tomme vaniljestang i en gryte – og rør det sammen. La rabarbraen simre ved middelvarme til de er møre og minner om en grov pure.

Muffins

3 eggs / 3 egg
6.5 oz sugar / 180 g sukker
8 oz flour / 220 g mel
2 tsp vanilla sugar / 2 tsk. vaniljesukker
1.5 tsp baking powder / 1,5 tsk. bakepulver
5 oz butter (melted) 150 g smør (smeltet)
4.5 oz marcipan finally chopped / 120 g revet marsipan

Whisk egg and sugar until creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients and the melted and cooled butter. Finally fold in the chopped marzipan. Divide the batter in muffin cups, and top with a spoonful of the rhubarb compote. If desired, sprinkle with crumble!  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F.

Pisk egg og sukker til en luftig masse.
Rør alle de tørre ingredienser i og det afkjølede smør.
Vend til sist revet marsipan i muffindejen.
Fordel deigen i muffinsformer. Top med rabarbrakompott og drys en teskje crumble over.
Bag ved 180 grader i 20-25 min.

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Rhubarb muffins

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.

Rhubarb Soup – the perfect summer dessert

My dessert repertoar often evolves around cake, chocolate, apples, ice cream or something like that. Not so often fresh and fruity things. More heavy stuff for this girl. That beeing said, I appreciate any kind of dessert. I just don’t make that much different stuff at home, for myself. But now that me and the boyfriend plus my sister and hers have started our 3-courses dinner parties, it’s for reasons like this. To challenge ourselves, and try out new recipes. To try out things we don’t usually make. I was in charge of the menu for our last dinner, and decided on this soup for dessert. Of course, I decide on dessert first, and then plan the rest of the menu… I had some rhubarb in the fridge, the strawberries were at it’s peak, and it was time to reunite with dessert soup. I remember my grandmother used to make this soup which was basically thickened syrup with raisins. And I loved it! And that’s pretty much my only experience (at least my only memory) of dessert soups. So, this soup really passed my expectations, you can say. This is quite a step up from the syrup-soup. (Sorry grandma!) But in her defense, this is created by one of Norway’s best pastry chefs. This is quality all the way. I never thought any soup could be so good. So if you think dessert soups are for grannys only, think again. Me and soup have reunited, and so can you! Trust me, you will. And please don’t judge it by it’s ugly apperance, it wasn’t really photogenic, but you can hold that against anything so delicious.

I had to make this again, cause I forgot to bring my camera to my sister’s house. Well, that’s not the only reason. I needed another bowl of this stuff. But I didn’t find strawberries at the supermarket, so I replaced them with raspberries. Worked out fine, but I think I prefer strawberries.

Rhubarb Soup
500 g red rhubarb
250 g sugar
7.5 dl water
1 vanilla pod
10 g/1 tablespoon maizena
0.5 dl cold water
500 g strawberries

Wash the rhubarb and cut into 2 cm pieces-
Put sugar, rhubarb and water in a kettle and allow to boil without stirring. Turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Drain the rhubarb syrup over another kettle, and throw away the rhubarb. Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds and the pod into the rhubarb syrup, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir the maizena into 0.5 dl of cold water, and pour this into the rhubarb soup. This will make the soup thicken. Let it boil for another minute. Turn off the heat, and let the soup cool in the fridge or the freezer. (This can easily be frozen down if you want) Remove the vanillapod before serving. Decorate with fresh strawberries and serve with mascarpone cream.

Mascarpone Cream
Seeds from 1 vanillapod
100 g mascarpone
2 dl heavy cream
50 g sugar
lemon juice

Mix everything but the lemon juice together. Whisk untill stiff, but be careful not to whisk too much, cause it will make the cream crack. Add lemon juice at your taste.

Crumble with rhubarb and ginger

rhubarb crumble

It’s funny how you can read the season by visiting the food blogs. Lately I’ve seen various rhubarb recipes popping up on every other food blog, meaning it’s this time of year. Spring, maybe early summer and definitely rhubarb season. I’ve been meaning to make something rhubarb for quite some time now. My parents have rhubarb in their garden, so that’s where I get mine from, but they’re still a little too small. But luckily, in the deep of the freezer, I discovered some rhubarb that have been waiting for almost a year. So I decided to get them out of there, and make something of them as a warm up while I’m waiting for the fresh real thing. I have so many favourites with this plant. Rhubarb and strawberry pie – the absolute taste of summer, the moistest rhubarb muffins, rhubarb compote and crumble. I’ll soon get back to them in a later post.

Although this is a slightly new version. I borrowed “Jamie at home” at the library today, and instantly set my eyes on actually all the rhubarb recipes. The pictures are so beautiful. I love this book, I have to get it. But I made a decicion, and landed on the crumble.

Ingredients: (4-6 portions)
1 kg rhubarb cut in large chunks
200 g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange
100 g flour
100 g cold butter
100 g oatmeal
2 pieces of chopped fresh ginger

Directions:
Turn the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Put rhubarb and half of the sugar in a deep pan. Add the orange juice and zest, put the lid on and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove the lid. Let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb softens. Pour everything in a fireproof pan and spread it out evenly.

For the crumble:
Mix butter and flour with your fingers til it resembles crumbs. Stir in oatmeal, the rest of the sugar and the ginger. (whoops – I added the ginger to the rhubarb together with the orange….well well, I guess that works too) Spread the topping over the rhubarb and bake the crumble in the center shelf for about 40 minutes or when the topping looks golden and the rhubarb starts to bobble.

And that’s pretty much it! Allow it to cool for 15 minutes, then serve while it’s still hot with cold whipped cream, custard or ice cream. Whatever tickles your fancy. The verdict: Okay, but nothing to go crazy about. A little sour, and I prefer a tradtional crumble without the oatmeal, but for a regular tuesday, this works. Anything containing oatmeal feels kinda healthy-ish…
Good? yeah. Great? No. It will not join my favourite rhubarb recipes section, but hey, maybe yours?