Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

Rhubarb Ginger Muffins

When I was a kid growing up in a remote town in central BC, we didn't have a lot of places to buy a lot of fruit. Gardens were common, and in our garden was a bunch of rhubarb. My Mom made good use of that rhubarb-from jams to pies, stewed or baked into squares with crumble topping, we ate it often, even ripping the stems right out of the garden and sitting on the lawn with a dish of sugar in hand, dipping the rhubarb into it and crunching the ends off.

We ate rhubarb so much that eventually, I began to hate it and in the last 20 yrs, rhubarb hasn't so much as touched my lips.

These muffins intrigued me. They are from Jamie Oliver, and being a food writer now I should be writing about things that are seasonal, with rhubarb being on the list at the moment. I scored some rhubarb at the store since I don't have a garden, pulled out my kitchen scale, and whipped these babies up.

Brown sugary with a hint of lemon and ginger, with some tart rhubarb in there to make it moist, these muffins are absolutely delectable. You must try them! If you don't have a kitchen scale, don't worry- I have included the original measurements and then converted them to cups for you. I did make a few changes, as noted in brackets in the recipe.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

3 cups (350 g) flour
1 1/4 cups (225 g) brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (I used buttermilk)
zest of 1 orange (I used a lemon-SO good!)
2 pieces of stem ginger, finally chopped (with the lack of measurement here, I took a wild guess and used 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh ginger)
7 tbsp (100 grams) butter, melted
1 large egg
2 cups (300 g) fresh rhubarb, chopped finely

1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line your muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and lemon/orange zest in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, ginger, egg, and melted butter together. Pour into the flour mixture. Fold gently with a wooden spoon-usually I'd say until just moistened, but the rhubarb adds a lot of moisture so add that in after you stir it a bit too.

Divide the batter among muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle some over the muffin batter-not a lot, maybe about a teaspoon or so. What I found happened is the brown sugar melted all over the top which on one hand, tastes delicious, but on the other, makes a bit of a mess. There was brown sugar all over my muffin pans and it seeped down and covered the paper muffin cups which at first seemed like a nasty sticky mess, but turned out okay because the muffins were delicious. So just be careful about how much sugar you top those babies with, you don't want an oven full of melted brown sugar. It's possible that my issue with it was simply because I had my measurements a little off.

Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin immediately to a rack to cool (otherwise if the sugar seeped down into the tin, you may have to chisel them out).

These freeze really well kept in an airtight container, and make a nice lunchbox treat when you need one.

Makes 12
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