Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rhubarb Muffins with Coconut Streusel

When I was a young little thing, my parents had rhubarb next to the raspberry bushes- which had a lot of traffic in the summer time- the former, did not. I always thought the rhubarb plants were infested with some disease of sorts, for what stems morph into a bright red color? I was certain it was a plague. Later upon finding out that the stems of these bushes were not just edible but actually tasty when mixed with the right components, skeptical me shunned it away for years and years.

Finally in my latter-twenties, I discovered just how delicious rhubarb really can be! It's beaming with culinary potential; I first had it as in a rhubarb-strawberry crisp and my oh my , life as I knew it stopped for those few seconds of heaven. Though you might not ever find most people gnawing away at it in its raw form, I hear it's quite wonderful when prepared and baked/cooked with the right stuff.

Case in point! I am Rhubarb's newest convert.

This muffin recipe is a new favorite in our house. I thought they were pretty darn good after tasting one right from the oven but then I had an overly enthusiastic yet sincere confirmation from my husband. And then if the toddler approves, you know you've really done something right!

I also must say, that naming this recipe "muffin" is a tad exaggeration-- they are just as sweet and rich as a cupcake loaded with frosting. Just thought I should clear up any vernacular confusion-- after all, this recipe does use up 3 sticks of butter-- not a common feature in most muffin mixes!:)

Enjoy! I know I sure am!

(The only way I know of Anna Pump is all the hype Ina Garten gives her on her show and also in her cookbooks.... the latter happens to be one of my all-time favorite chefs/cooks/culinary-superstars, and anyone that Ina recommends I trust!)

Rhubarb Muffins with Coconut Streusel

{Anna Pump: Summer on a Plate}

16 Tbsp butter (8 ounces), melted (2 sticks)

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup heavy cream

Grated zest of two oranges

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 ¼ cups sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp baking powder

3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb (Kate note: I highly recommend slicing the rhubarb thinly but then dicing it!)

Coconut Topping (the streuselJ)

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1 cup sugar

1 cup walnuts (optional)

4 ounces (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes)- (Kate note: 1 stick was far too much- I would cut it in half and use only 2 ounces of butter).

Preheat your oven to 375. Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.

Make the coconut topping first. Combine flour, sugar, and the coconut together. Using a pastry blender or forks, cut the butter in and stir so that the butter resembles little pebbles. Set aside.

Make the batter. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, milk, and heavy cream. Add the orange zest and stir lightly. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and gently stir that into the wet ingredients. Fold in the rhubarb and spoon batter into muffin liners until each is about 2/3 of the way full. Scoop a spoonful of the coconut topping onto the top of each muffin. Bake for about 18-23 minutes, or until the tops barely yield when pushed down on by finger.

Allow cool 10 or so minutes in the pan and then remove and cool on a wire rack (important step!).

1 comment:

Annie P said...

Can't wait to try. And guess what...I have a ridiculous amount of rhubarb that goes to waste in my yard every year. I use it but not enough. So if you ever want some- come on by!