17 April 2013

Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

Delicate, slender stems of early rhubarb appearing in the shops, markets and grocers are always cause for celebration. The arrival of rhubarb heralds the arrival of Spring and the promise of consistently sunny and warm days just around the corner. How cheering the vibrant pink colour of rhubarb is on a grey day and how delicious too. When I lovingly tended my own garden the mergence of rhubarb was both a welcome harbinger of Spring and a bit of an intrigue. As the tight, reddish, fist-like balls pushed through the loamy earth, I couldn't imagine that leaves would eventually unfold.

We already know that rhubarb is not a fruit, but is in fact a vegetable…technically. But given its honoured position as the first sign of something sweet after a long dreary winter (and not to mention its affinity for cobblers, pies, and jams!), I think it's safe to say that rhubarb is a fruit in spirit. That’s pretty much how we think of rhubarb, so long as there’s plenty of sugar around. Without a sweetener, rhubarb is bracingly sour.

I wanted something to entice me with the signs of Spring as well as start my day off right. I found this recipe in Saveur magazine. The topping was crunch and the perfect contrast to the tart rhubarb chunks. I think you will find them hard to resist as well.

**Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping**
from Saveur

For the streusel:

½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, grated
½ cup chopped almonds

For the muffins:

Unsalted butter, for greasing
3 cups flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
12 oz. rhubarb (about 2 medium stalks), cut into ¼" pieces

Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, both sugars, zest, salt, and extract in a small bowl. Grate butter into mixture using large box grater. With your fingers, rub into almond mixture until smooth and large clumps form. Stir in almonds and transfer to refrigerator; chill until ready to use.

Make the muffins: Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour muffin pans; set aside. Whisk together 2 ¾ cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, both sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla seeds; pour mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

In a small bowl, toss remaining flour with rhubarb until evenly coated, and then stir into batter. Working in batches, place  cup batter in muffin cups, break streusel up into medium-sized clumps, and sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serve to applause and enjoy!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Lovely! Those muffins are fabulous. Oh, I love rhubarb. Still waiting to find some, though...



  2. Oh yum! For some reason I forget about rhubarb even though I grew up on it. What a wonderful idea to include it in muffins. These look so good and would be great anytime of the day, wish I had one right now!

  3. I love all things rhubarb! I have never tried it in muffins. Great and tasty to be sure!!

  4. Can't wait for Rhubarb!♥
    I will try this..they look so good so so good to me right now.

  5. This would for sure becomme an instant favourite.

  6. Ahhh!!! I've been waiting all year for rhubarb season! These muffins seem like the perfect way to kick it off!

  7. You had me at almonds...then streusel. This looks like a winning recipe, Val.

  8. What a great way to celebrate the arrival of rhubarb with this pretty muffins. They would be lovely with coffee or tea any time of the day.

  9. Let's not forget the ultimate purpose of rhubarb. It's so darn funny!

  10. Me parecen una delicia de muffins que me atraen en cantidad!

  11. We are still completely covered in snow....

  12. I'm still waiting for rhubarb to show up in our markets. I like the idea of using it in muffins...your look delicious.

  13. Rhubarb is a favorite of mine too! I should finally be able to harvest some stalks this year from the plants I put in the ground two years ago. I'd love to try this with some of them.

  14. Love these look delicious Val!!

  15. I was just commenting on the fact that its rhubarb season! Happy Spring!

  16. I did not know that rhubarb is a vegetable. I always think of it as a fruit. Maybe it is kind of like one of those undefined items like the tomato? I love your crunchy muffing topping.

  17. i'm pretty sure all muffins should have a streusel. :)

  18. We are still waiting for our rhubarb to grow here in Ontario and I haven't even seen any in the stores at all yet. Anxious to get my hands on some and bake up some of these muffins. And I'm with Grace - all muffins should have streusel!


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