Everyone knows that we try to live and eat seasonally. One of the questions that has always vexed us when people proclaim their love for strawberry rhubarb pie is: “who has strawberries and rhubarb ready to harvest in their garden at the same time?” By the time our strawberries are ready (mid-June) our rhubarb has mostly gone to seed. Last year we had a bumper crop of strawberries (a great problem to work through), so we wound up freezing quite a few of them. The issue was that they came so fast and furious that we didn’t have time to de-hull them before freezing. And anyone who’s tried to cut the hull off of a frozen strawberry, well, they probably have a big scar in the middle of their palm.
So we’ve been cooking and sieving our strawberries through our trusty food mill all winter long. We’ve used the sauce on ice cream, scones, and even salad dressings. This past weekend we found one lonely frozen bag left in the bag of the freezer, and we realized we had to use it up before our new strawberries come ripe next week. (Using up last years produce before the new crop is a hard fast rule at the Beekman.) And then we thought – rhubarb! We still have rhubarb left! We can finally make something with a “strawberry rhubarb” prefix. Except pie wouldn’t work, since the frozen berries couldn’t be hulled.
Since desperation is the mother of recipes, we came up with these Swirly Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins. We imagine that they would work with all kinds of berry sauce, so check the back of your freezer.
(As with most recipes we concoct early in the morning, the measure are approximate. Feel free to use any standard muffin recipe you like, and add the diced rhubarb and strawberry swirl as directed below.)
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
For the Muffin:
2.5 C flour
3 large eggs
2.5 t baking powder
1 C sour goat milk (Or buttermilk)
1 t salt
1.25 C sugar
5 T unsalted butter, melted & cooled (though pourable)
3 T vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
2.5 cups diced rhubarb
For the “Swirl”:
3 C frozen strawberries
2 T honey
First, make the “swirl.” Combine berries and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat. When berries being to break down, raise heat until they are fully mushy. Process through a food mill to remove hulls.
Next, begin making the muffin batter. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease one 6-Large Muffin tin, or one 12-Small Muffin tin. (In place of greasing, you may use muffin papers.)
Chop rhubarb stems into small chunks. (Slice stems in half lengthwise before chopping.)
In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined and light yellow. Add in oil, melted butter, vanilla and sour milk/buttermilk.
Fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture. Then fold in rhubarb chunks. Don’t overmix. Batter should be a little runny and a little lumpy.
Fill muffin tins only 1/3 full with batter. (We use an ice cream scoop for this.) Spoon 1 T of strawberry mixture on top of batter in each cup. Use toothpick or knife point to “swirl” the strawberry sauce through batter.
Next, add more batter mixture on top, filling the cups to 3/4 full. Spoon one more T of strawberry mixture on top, and use toothpick or knifepoint to swirl as before. You may have extra strawberry mixture. Save this for serving.
Place on middle rack in oven and back for approximately 18 minutes. (12 minutes for smaller muffin tins.) Muffins are done when tops are brown and toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack. Serve warm with butter and reserved berry mixture.