Vanilla Rhubarb Muffins

Summer is my favourite season…and not just because of the warm weather. It’s also the time of year when my grocery bill is cut in half because I can get most of my produce from my father’s amazing garden. Today, my dad gave me a huge bag of rhubarb. I still remember the first time I tasted rhubarb. I was about 9 or 10 years old and I was out playing with my French-Canadian friend next door when she asked me if I wanted a snack. I was thinking chips or cookies…but then she takes me to her backyard and yanks out a few stalks of rhubarb. She poured a little sugar into a bowl and it was snack time! Rhubarb dipped in sugar —  it’s actually pretty good. Rhubarb tends to grow quite rampant in the garden, and this is a great way to use some of it up. This muffin has a delicate vanilla flavour, the rhubarb melts into the batter as it cooks and adds an almost apple-like flavour. The use of mascarpone creates a very tender crumb. I like to sprinkle slivered almonds on top for added texture.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsps vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Sliced almonds, to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.  Toss in the rhubarb and stir to coat.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, mascarpone, eggs, vanilla and butter.
  4. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined. Do not overmix the batter!
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
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