Growing up, my dad had a patch of rhubarb in the side yard that he lovingly tended to, but occasionally my Pawpaw (my grandparents lived next door) would run over it with his riding lawnmower and that would be it for that year's rhubarb. My dad made a lot of strawberry rhubarb pies and rhubarb compote in the years when the rhubarb was not a lawnmower victim. Now that I'm all the way across the country, and my dad's rhubarb patch has long since succumbed to homicide, every spring, I eagerly await the first farmer's market stand to offer rhubarb and then I start scheming up ways to bake with it.
I saw a recipe for a rhubarb yogurt muffin on Portland Monthly, given by Little T Bakers. As I was making it, I wanted to add a bunch of things but told myself in the name of science I had to make it true to the original recipe first, then make a second batch to compare. Imagine my horror when my single-blind-of-course-it's-scientifically-sound-study-with-3-participants resulted in a 3-0 preference for the original recipe for the muffin, but the more-cinnamon-sugar-topping-of my fru-fru version. So, for a third-time-is-the-charm comparison, I stuck closer to the original recipe, but still added more rhubarb, plus lemon zest and vanilla extract. This time, I think I nailed the light texture due to the Greek yogurt and the little bit of extra butter I added. Chopping the rhubarb into evenly-sized small pieces ensures a nice distribution of tart rhubarb-y goodness throughout the whole muffin.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup Greek yogurt
grated zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups (10 oz) rhubarb, diced 1/4 inch pieces
Topping: 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon mixed with 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup granulated sugar with the 10 oz rhubarb pieces.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, melted butter, egg, lemon zest, and vanilla.
5. With a large spoon, stir 1/2 the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, followed by the sugared rhubarb (and any accumulated juice) and the remaining flour. Stir only until combined; do not over mix! Nobody wants to eat a tough muffin. :-(
6. Spoon the batter evenly into a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners (I used the large freestanding ones because I thought they were cute and spring-y in design, but boring old plain ones in a muffin tin do the job just as well.) Sprinkle each muffin top with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
7. Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until light brown.
Makes 12 muffins