So I recently got my hands on some fresh rhubarb. And I mean, really fresh … not the limp stuff you sometimes can find in the grocery store this time of year. This was the real deal: stalks harvested from a well-established patch in a pasture in northern Iowa. Even better, the rhubarb was free. It was such a good deal, in fact, that I couldn’t stop cutting. In the end, I had just over 20 cups of chopped rhubarb.
Now what? Well, about a third of it was turned into strawberry-rhubarb jam and canned. Or it would have turned into jam, except I had the sugar content so low that it really came out more like ice cream sauce. More went into a cobbler, and more yet into a coffeecake. The rest was turned into these scrumptious rhubarb-sour cream muffins, a recipe that my mom got years ago.
Now, don’t worry if you hate rhubarb, or only like it if it’s mixed in so well that you can almost forget it’s there. The rhubarb has just enough tang to make these muffins special without overpowering the spice-infused batter. And even better, you can sub out any other fruit for the rhubarb. I especially like to make these with chopped apple, or blueberries. These muffins freeze well, too.
Sour Cream Rhubarb muffins (makes 12)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup margarine (that’s half a stick)
1 cup sour cream (light works just fine)
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 ½ cups flour (just regular flour, but you can make half of it wheat if you want to up the fiber)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ cups chopped rhubarb
Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, blend the flour with the baking soda and spices. Add the dry to the wet; don’t over mix. Fold in rhubarb. Divide batter among muffin tins.
In a small bowl, mix:
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup quick-cooking oats
Sprinkle topping on muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let cool a bit before removing from tins.