To me, spring in Minnesota means venturing out to farmer’s markets to pick up fresh, seasonal produce and chat with local growers. Saturday we went to the Richfield Farmer’s Market for the first time. I highly recommend this market, especially for families – live music, plenty of picnic tables for snacks, restrooms nearby and a fantastic playground. It’s early in the season and offerings are slim, but we walked away with a big bunch of fresh rhubarb.
Rhubarb reminds me of my grandparents. Several rhubarb plants grew on the side of their garage. No matter where I am, if I eat rhubarb, I’m right back in South Fargo at a family picnic eating rhubarb crisp.
I made rhubarb crisp muffins and had enough leftover to freeze for another recipe.
Rhubarb Crisp Muffins
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 C packed brown sugar [NOTE: use 1 1/2 cups for the batter and reserve 1/2 cup for the crumble on top]
2/3 C vegetable oil [I use Canola oil]
1 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb
1 C plain quick oats
Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins or use cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Stir the flour mixture into the batter and fold in the chopped rhubarb. Fill prepared muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Rhubarb crisp muffin batter
In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup packed brown sugar with about 1 cup of oats. Sprinkle the crumble generously over each muffin cup. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes. The recipe yields 24 muffins.
Crumble topping added and ready to go in the oven
These muffins were perfect right out of the oven for brunch. Tart, sweet and delicious.
Rhubarb crisp muffins
For variations on the recipe, you can substitute buttermilk for the whole milk. My mom suggests keeping a can of powdered buttermilk in the pantry for the odd recipe that requires buttermilk. You can also vary the crumble mixture. Instead of oats, mix brown sugar, butter and toasted slivered almonds for the topping.
Quick tip: If you run out of batter and wonder what to do with the empty cups, simply fill them half full with water to ensure the batch of muffins cooks evenly.