The rhubarb and muffin connection

gluten

Rhubarb, raspberry millet and almond muffins

It typically starts with eggs. Large beautiful eggs.

I take a couple out of the fridge, often three, along with a stick of butter, and I place the ingredients in a wide bowl at one end of the counter top. Then, I daydream of what I’d like to bake, what flours I’d like to use, paying attention to what produce is growing in the garden, and what I have handy.

If it’s sunny, fruit will most likely end up in my baking. It’s a given. In May and June, this often implies that I will use berriesdes fruits rouges as they are referred to in French.

Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb are favorites.

I grew up with an abundance of rhubarb. My mother and grand-mothers each kept a plant in their gardens, and since rhubarb does really well in colder climates, theirs were always happy, spreading large and healthy.

Rhubarb does well in New England too.

I was keen to bake many things when I returned in my kitchen to cook. I was impatient to work flour and sugar and eggs again. It felt as if I was going to rediscover something fresh.

Hence when a few days ago, Lulu and I decided to go to the farm to catch up with events that had happened while I was not able to visit, I decided to bake muffins with the springy flavor of rhubarb and raspberries in them. The weather was a little cooler suddenly again, so I knew we’d enjoy muffins on our way back home.

I had already baked muffins like these before. Once before I became sick. Then I baked a batch when our friends K. and D. came for dinner as they were getting ready to move to NC. So sadly for us. So sadly for Lulu and R. their daughter. Those two really love each other!

Take some with you home,” I had said to K. as the three of them were standing by the door step before leaving. “You’ll enjoy them for breakfast tomorrow morning.

I was keen to know what K. and D. were going to think. If they were going to love them as we had.

The next day, K. sent me a note. “So yummy!” it read. “We ate them while watching Charlie and Lola with R.!

I knew K. meant what she wrote. She is that kind of person. She is also one that gives a ton through homemade food.

She didn’t know it then but her words meant terribly to me.

So I made the same muffins again before leaving for the farm.

After running silly after the sheep, goat and chicken, and then visiting the newborn piglets, Lulu and I returned home hungry.

We were so glad to find salad and muffins for lunch.

Our potato salad and the muffins tasted like spring. June. The rhubarb in my grandmother’s garden. And the lovely times we’ve spent with K. and D. around beautiful food.

All mattered a ton.

Rhubarb and raspberry muffins with buttermilk and cinnamon


(For 12 to 14 muffins)

For the rhubarb compote:

  • 10.5 oz (300 g) finely diced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz; 100 g) blond cane sugar

Steps:

  • Place the rhubarb in a pot with the sugar. Stir and stew on low heat, until soft. Purée and set aside 1/2 cup (4.5 oz; 130 g) (keep the rest for another preparation (such as adding the rhubarb to yogurt).

For the muffins:

  • 2/3 cup (3 oz; 90 g) millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz; 60 g) almond meal
  • 1/3 cup (1.5 oz; 40 g) sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (1.5 oz; 40 g) amaranth flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz; 100 g) blond cane sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (3 oz; 90 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup (4 1/4 oz; 120 g) plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup finely diced rhubarb
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) sliced raspberries

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and have the muffin cases ready.
  • In a bowl, combine the flours, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Beat the eggs with the sugar until light.
  • Stir in the butter, vanilla and buttermilk (or plain yogurt).
  • Add the stewed rhubarb compote and the dry ingredients.
  • Fold in the diced rhubarb and raspberries.
  • Fill the muffin cases and cook the muffins for 25 minutes or so, or until cooked when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool.

31 comments

  1. I’m very glad you feel better Béa! And I’m sorry that we don’t have rhubarb in Greece (at least in our island). Is there another fruit compote I could use instead?
    Thank you.

  2. Lovely muffins. Rhubarb is a wonderful early summer treat. I’m actually eating a rhubarb cake (by delicious days) right now.
    Can’t believe that Lulu is so big already!

  3. Lovely post and colours, thank you!
    I join Dimitra in her asking..’what fruit for the compote?’.. since we don’t find rhubarb easily here in Italy.!
    Thank you so much…
    p.s. got to find the amaranth flour as well, though…

  4. Beautiful pictures, as always :-)
    My favorite fruits in summer is peachs (yummy), strawberries & rasberries… but I do not like cherry !
    I have plenty of cherry in my father’s garden now.

  5. The muffins look glorious…And I can’t believe how tall Lulu is getting. Where has the time gone??? Regards, ~rose

  6. I love the idea of you assembling your eggs and butter and then waiting for the baking gods to summon forth inspiration and a recipe. Just love it.

  7. these look wonderful. i can just imagine leaving the eggs and butter out, waiting for inspiration to strike. rhubarb tastes like summer to me – i need to get my hands on some and try this out. gorgeous :)

  8. Yes, good friends are hard to come by . . . I’ve baking strawberry rhubarb strudel, my absolute favorite, this time of year. Beautiful photos.

  9. So happy you are feeling better! Lulu looks so grown up. Berries and rhubarb just make the best pair.

  10. You are lucky to get pink rhubarb, where I live it’s too sunny so the stems always photosynthesize to green and there are never enough pink bits. I like paring it with orange zest in a cake (when I can get enough pink stems)
    Your farm animal photos look lovely.

  11. It’s just so good to read your writing again! and cheerful writing too ! I’m happy you’re all good now. thanks for all this
    Audrey

  12. I don’t have kids and it puzzles me how fast they grow! Your Lulu has really grown a lot since the last photo I remember.

    And I see I’ll have to try rhubarb finaly;)

  13. I love muffins when you have fruit in them because this way they are so moist! I will try this recipe. It looks amazing… * gulp *. Your photos are beautiful as always!

  14. So wonderful to see you are busy in the kitchen again, Bea! Glad you are feeling better. You’ve also inspired me to plant some rhubarb in my new vegetable garden, which consists only of seedlings in my kitchen window at the moment!

    Best,
    Jade

  15. You always inspire me so much, can’t wait for your book! I have rhubarb sitting at home waiting to be baked, and I think that will happen tonight, much to their satisfaction I hope. They are so pretty, I like to make them wait for a few days in a vase before they get cooked up.

  16. Dear Béa,
    I love your blog. Last sunday I made your Cherry Clafoutis, it was really easy to cook, but it was very difficult to stop eating; my family loved them!!
    Je ne peux pas attendre pour votre livre.
    Un abrazo

  17. Rhubarb always feels like a rare treat, because in Italy it is almost impossible to find. Now I live in Germany, and even when I’m back home, it is the only produce that grows plentiful in my parents’ garden, so I always have plenty at hand. I feel lucky every time!

  18. Toujours de magnifiques photos qui donnent envie !!
    Ces muffins m’inspirent. Il faut que j’aille chercher de la rhubarbe… ;-)

  19. Your colors are so shiny and strawberries too. I could not try your muffin. I will make and taste it.

  20. Ces muffins sortent a l’instant de mon four, et je suis sure que mon fils va adorer a la sortie de la creche!
    Merci Bea pour cette recette, ces photos. J’espere que tu vas mieux.

  21. so glad you are feeling well again bea and love seeing lulu with the animals. Miren would love to be there too. Delicious muffins as always!

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  23. Hello, I’m a long time reader but I think this is my first comment! I love your blog – the pictures, the stories, the recipes. So beautiful.

    I was wondering, I’ve never used gluten free flours because I don’t need to health wise. But in reading this recipe today, it occurred to me that perhaps I should try them just for the sake of flavor. Are you familiar with Good to the Grain? I love how she elevates different kinds of whole grains to a high status, using them for their flavor and not just to be “healthy.” I’m wondering if that’s the same thing that happens with gluten free flours. In the case of these muffins, do they taste better because of the millet and almond flours than if one were to just use all-purpose flour?

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  25. We just tasted them! With apple compote and dark chocolate instead of rhubarb. A m a z i n g !!! Can’t wait for my baby daughter to grow up and taste them! Thank you once again for a great recipe!…

  26. I cannot use the almond meal because of a nut allergy – could I try pumpkin or sunflower seeds – or do you have any other suggestions They look fantastic.

  27. I just made these and I cannot stop myself from eating them although they just got out of the oven and I am almost burning my tongue with it. I actually made them for a friend’s birthday but they will not survive unless I forbid myself to enter the kitchen again… Thank you oh so much for this wonderful recipe. You are an inspiration!

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