This time of year rhubarb can be found at most farmer’s markets, local farm stands and some grocery stores but, the freshest rhubarb comes from my neighbor’s backyard. You can sometimes find frozen rhubarb and that works equally well in this recipe. To use frozen rhubarb, thaw and drain the rhubarb but do not squeeze the excess liquid. Then just add the amount called for in the recipe.
These moist muffins offer some complex flavors in a softer than normal muffin dough. I usually like muffins with a more sturdy structure. These are almost as soft as a cupcake which in my family’s opinion is just fine. The tart burst of flavor in the rhubarb is a favorite with my grandsons and the crumbly top makes this a favorite with my hubby. For me it’s the crunch and flavor of the pecans. So, for even more crunch add some chopped pecans to your crumb topping before sprinkling the muffins.
Rhubarb Pecan Cinnamon Crumble Muffins
Makes 12 – 18 regular size muffins
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb, small dice
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, (I use 1- 5 oz. carton Greek vanilla yogurt)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
For the crumble topping:
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Before making the batter, make the crumble topping: whisk together flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon and salt. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the crumbs are of equally small size. Add pecans if desired and set aside. I like to keep it chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners or if you prefer grease and flour muffin tin. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the rhubarb with brown sugar and toss together, set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, by hand beat together the oil, yogurt, milk, eggs and vanilla extract till smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together. Do not over mix, there should still be bits of flour here and there.
- Carefully fold in the rhubarb and pecans till well distributed.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups filling about 3/4 full.
- Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of crumble mixture. There may be a little left over. You could split it between the muffins or save in the fridge for the next batch of muffins.
- Bake at 400F for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
- These muffins keep well at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or keep in the fridge up to a week or they freeze well for up to 3 months.
I love the flavor and crunch of pecans so, for this recipe, I want pecan flavor in every bite. In my opinion, it’s best to have the nuts chopped quite small. thinking I’d save time, I bought chopped pecans but they were more like pecan pieces so out came my the old granny chopper. It is a vintage chopper with a crank handle on one side. You just load the nuts into the hopper on the top, turn the handle on the side and voila’ you have evenly sized chopped nuts. This is a wonderful old tool that the kiddos can use without any danger of cutting themselves. You can usually find these old nut choppers at antique malls or garage sales for less than $10. I’ve had mine over 40 years, it was old when I got it and it’s still chopping just fine. (you could also just pop them in a food processor but you know me, I love old things)
This time I actually got 19 muffins from this recipe. I think my neighbors may like some after all it was their rhubarb. One of the simple pleasures of life is a warm muffin and a nice hot cup of tea as a reward for a job well done.