Those are no muffins

Apparently rhubarb season is really short in our area – tried finding some at Wegmans for two weeks and nada. Was randomly at Eastern Market last Saturday and the first place asked at said that the season had just passed. But the second place had some out (hurrah visual recognition!) – aaand only took cash. I don’t really carry cash any more but I had a little bit and at $6/lb, only needing a stalk, two bucks covered it. So, very lucky there.

This one was the second strawberry-type muffin I’ve been saving for the summer and I am very glad to a) eat them and b) finally get them out of my binder! I don’t make breakfast stuff too often and am glad I made the time for these.

All that said, these Strawberry Rhubarb muffins (with cinnamon streusel topping) are NOT muffins.

They’re cupcakes.

Seriously, they’re sweet enough to taste like one and I really don’t care if you don’t make cupcakes with fruit or require frosting on top of your cupcakes – these are sweet enough to fit my category description.

Doesn’t keep me from eat one at breakfast though 🙂

Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins CUPCAKES with cinnamon streusel

12 cupcakes
Original from Cup of Sugar, Pinch of Salt
Recipe Count – 7 left
Section Count – Black Binder:  4 more left, Subsection – Breakfast: 0 (all done!)

Filling:

  • 1 cup strawberries, stemmed & quartered (quartered, then measured)
  • 1 stalk rhubarb, peeled if needed & diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Muffins

  • 1.5 cups unbleached white flour (if you’ve got your local Glut equivalent, otherwise all-purpose flour is just fine)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (if it re-solidifies, the microwave on LOW power works well)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk

Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cubed butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Filling (Can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated): In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the strawberries, diced rhubarb, and sugar. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and allow to boil. Once mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease muffin cups or line.
  3. Mix together the topping sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon with a fork until it looks like coarse sand. Set aside.
  4. Combine the muffin flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, and egg; mix into the flour mixture.
  5. Fill muffin cups to about 1/3 full then create a small indentation in the middle. Fill with about tbsp of strawberry-rhubarb mixture. Fill remainder of muffin cup with batter (right to the top) and sprinkle with topping.
  6. Bake until golden brown & a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffin

Sugared Strawberries

Laura and I are like a lot of foodies out there – we like to listen to the podcast of Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s Splendid Table as it gets published weekly. A few weeks ago, the podcast repeated a segment from a few years ago about what to do with Summer’s berries – Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and most importantly, Strawberries. I have to tell you before we go any further: Strawberries are my favorite dessert food. Full. Stop. A bowl of strawberries will keep me happy for an evening. Even better, right now is a great time to love them because they are super cheap.

BUT! Even I can’t eat strawberries by the pound and we buy them that way. So, what to do with the extras before they go bad? You can make jam, pie, shortcake, muffins, and even ice cream. Or you can come back with me to the idea from the Splendid Table: Sugared Strawberries. This is one of those things that is so very easy to make and so wonderful that Laura and I are sure to make several more jars to have over the rest of the year. All it takes is berries and sugar in equal weight. That’s it.

(As a note, the Splendid Table’s Recipe is Sugared Raspberries but as far as I can tell the making of Sugared Berries will work with just about any berry you like.)

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We’ve tried the syrup on vanilla ice cream and it was heaven. I’m going to be making pound cake soon enough and we’ll be putting it on that. Heck, even out of the jar with a spoon is yummy. The best part is – once made, it’s supposed to keep for a whole year. So, you’ll be able to enjoy strawberries even in the middle of December.

Sugared Strawberries

  • 1 lbs (or 2 cups) of fresh Strawberries with stems removed
  • 1 lbs (or 2 cups) of granulated sugar
  1. In a large bowl, toss strawberries together with sugar until well coated
  2. Using a pastry ricer or potato masher, crush berries and sugar together until liquified.
  3. Transfer syrup to jars and refrigerate.
  4. Spoon over your ice cream, yogurt, pound cake, or just into a bowl to eat.

One final thought – I added a few blackberries to the mix above and beyond the pound of strawberries and they added a nice bit of contrasting tartness. They’re totally optional and next time I’ll probably be keeping just to pure Strawberries. Happy Summer!

 

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Muffins!

In planning for this week’s food, I checked in my ‘pantry staples’ section and thought maybe I’d try caramelizing a batch of onions in  a slow cooker – store some in the fridge for use this week, the rest in the freezer for slow use over several months. But when Adam’s reaction is ‘… no. nope. no, absolutely not’, well, since he’s the one more likely to use caramelized onions, I’m willing to ditch the recipe. So that’s why the recipe count below is one less than the eagle eyed among you would be expecting.

Back to the drawing board and/or thinking cap I went – wait a minute, it’s berry season around here. There’s strawberries. As you may guess, I like strawberries (and blackberries and raspberries…). And we have this big bag of sliced almonds from our local food co-op / bulk food store. Which makes it the perfect time to try out Muffins

strawberry-almond muffins!

Hurray a switch-up in my mornings!

Strawberry-Almond Muffins

Original from HeatherHomeMode
Makes 14 muffins

Recipe Count – 12 left
Section Count – Black Binder: 6 more left, Subsection – Breakfast: 1 more

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (did I mention the food co-op/bulk food store we go to? Substitute whole wheat or bread flour here at your discretion – the taste/texture will differ a bit, but it’ll work)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (yep, 1 tbsp – these make fairly fluffy muffins)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (let the butter sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups roughly chopped and loosely pack strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line or spray with cooking spray a muffin tin.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand – but it’s much easier in a stand mixer). Add the eggs one at a time; beat after each addition until fluffy. Mix in the milk and almond extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended – the dough will look wet and almost cake-batter like. Fold in the strawberries and almonds.
  5. Fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Finish2 Finish1

A failure of attempt

I may have mentioned in my post on Ginger Syrup that I bought strawberries instead of blueberries – that was just the first whoops of this little adventure. It’s pretty much berry season around here though, so I should just keep trying right now instead of letting this project lie for months. 🙂

So, what else did I manage to get wrong this attempt? Well, not enough berries and too much/too thin syrup. More… fruit tart than pie. Tasty. But not what I was going for.

Winter Berry Pie #4

I don’t think the ginger syrup is the right track – I like what letting the berries sit in it did, but it definitely doesn’t match my memories of Dangerously Delicious’s pies. The syrup was much thicker and I think a bit sweeter. I’m not sure if boiling my ginger syrup down would help. But I think I’ll try a simple sugar syrup. Maybe boil some blackberries in the syrup to get a purple-ish color.

Oh, and definitely buy and use two pears. This time involved red pears, which I rather liked, so they’ll make a reappearance.

Any rate, here’s a record of what I did do this time:

Winter Berry Pie the Fourth

  • 6oz blackberries
  • 6oz strawberries
  • 1 medium red pear
  • 1 recipe of Ginger Syrup
  1. Cut strawberries into slices and the pear into chunks; mix strawberries, blackberries, and pear chunks in a bowl. Cover with the syrup and let sit while you make your pastry dough (if using a pre-made dough, I think 30 minutes will do it.
  2. Make your pastry dough and set-up the crust in a pie pan; partially bake – about 20 minutes – at 350°F. Transfer berry mixture to pie plate.
  3. Bake in 375°F oven for 40-45 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.