Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rhubarb - I just can't get enough

I find myself looking forward to the change of seasons with a new verve, as I look forward to the produce that comes with the time of year. Living in California, it is easy to lose this sense, as one can get virtually any type of produce all year round. While it might be trendy, I've taken to eating what is actually in season and can be found locally (how novel). These weeks of spring have brought some of my favorite seasonal treats - rhubarb (which is really east coast - reminding me of a particular 4th of July in Massachusetts, eating way too many rhubarb crisps during a picnic at Tanglewood, mmm) and English peas. The amount of rhubarb I have been wanting to eat has driven me to search for new rhubarb recipes (I virtually always go the strawberry-rhubarb-pie-or-something-like-it route) and yesterday I found a recipe for rhubarb streusel cakes and decided that sounded quite craveable.

I adjusted some things, for the original version click the link above. To make the streusel, combine a scant 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cut in (or use a mixer, if you don't want to break a sweat) 5 tablespoons chilled salted butter. You can stop when the mixture is crumbly OR you can add 1/4 cup oats (I love oats in my crumbly toppings). Set the topping aside in a cool place.

This is when I turned on the oven to 375. To make the batter combine 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and salt. In a large bowl cream 1 stick butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Then, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately add in the flour mixture and 1/2 cup whole milk (which I didn't have so I used cream mixed with low fat milk  . . woops).
Everything is set except for the rhubarb. Uniformly dice 1/2-pound rhubarb (I ended up finding it light on rhubarb, so I recommend using about a cup and a half or two cups worth diced rhubarb if you can fit it in your tins). Toss the diced rhubarb with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar - more if you use more rhubarb. 
I spooned the batter into a six-muffin tin, sprinkling a little layer of rhubarb in the middle of the cakes and then adding the rest of the fruit on top, finishing each cake off with a generous helping of streusel. Bake the cakes for about 25-30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean and the streusel is browned).


  1. Yeah!!! And why does B get to try all the good stuff? FedEx me one of them muffins, girl!