As mentioned before, we have lots of rhubarb on our new allotment. For the first time in my life I have enough of it to make all my old favorite rhubarb recipes and experiment with new ones. I pick an armful of rhubarb every time we go to the allotment.
Rhubarb is a great plant for the permaculture garden because it not only has edible stalks, but the large (inedible) leaves are also great as mulch. So after harvesting, I cut off the leaves and use them to cover exposed soil around other plants to prevent weed growth and evaporation.
Last week my parents took the kids on a day trip to Arnhem. I baked rhubarb muffins in the morning and packed them in a paper bag for them to eat on the way. My mum said that when they unpacked the muffins on the train, the smell was so delicious it must have made everybody jealous.
And it’s not just the smell – these muffins are delicious. Often, muffins can be boring – they need something to make them stand out- a contrastingly tart fruit or a crunchy streusel topping. Or both.
In this recipe, I used half whole wheat flour for the batter and just whole wheat for streusel, because whole wheat flour makes cakes and muffin taste more “interesting” and definitely more suitable as breakfast. Same goes for wheat germ. I don’t use much sugar in the batter but the sweet streusel prevents the rhubarb from being too assertive. The orange infuses the batter as both juice and zest are used and plays off the rhubarb wonderfully.
When I want to bake muffins in the morning, to make life easy for myself, I prepare everything the night before: I mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in another and let them stand (covered) on the counter. I make the streusel and cut the rhubarb in cubes and keep both in the fridge. I even line the muffin form with paper cups. Then in the morning, all I have to do is preheat the oven, stir everything together, fill the muffin forms and scatter the streusel on top. And about 20 minutes, voila: I have the most delicious rhubarb muffins imaginable.
One year ago: No-knead pizza dough
Rhubarb streusel muffins
150 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
150 g (1 cup) all purpose flour
50 g (½ cup) wheat germ
1 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
juice of 1 orange
+ buttermilk to make up 250 ml (1cup) together
100 g (½ cup) cane sugar
grated zest of 1 orange
170 g (6oz) rhubarb, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) dice (about 1 1/2 cups when diced)
75 g (½ cup) whole wheat flour
75 g (1/3 cup) raw cane sugar
50 g (4 tbsp, 2 oz.) cold butter, cut in cubes
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F). Butter a standard muffin form or line it with paper muffin cups.
To make the streusel, mix sugar and flour in a small bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Keep streusel in the fridge until needed.
In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, wheat germ, soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix the wet ingredients (eggs, oil, orange juice and buttermilk) with sugar and zest. Pour the wet mix into the flour mixture and stir until just combined but still lumpy. Fold in the rhubarb and divide the mixture between the muffin cups. Sprinkle the streusel on top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden.