Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Rhubarb Conserve

Strawberries and rhubarb do make a great pie filling but they also pair wonderfully in these muffins, especially with the addition of your own homemade rhubarb conserve.  Rhubarb conserve is jammy sweet with a concentrated tangy rhubarb flavor to it.   When it’s in season I can’t get enough rhubarb and one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is in a conserve which can be added to the batter of baked goods like these muffins.  I also spread the rhubarb conserve on my strawberry rhubarb muffins when they are warm right out of the oven.  But, don’t stop there, spoon rhubarb conserve on toast, brioche, croissants, into tartlet shells or use as a sauce on vanilla ice cream with sliced strawberries.  I picked up more rhubarb over the weekend and I’m making another batch of conserve this afternoon while I can still find the rhubarb stalks in my market.

Strawberry season is just starting here in the Bay Area with most of the sweet ripe berries coming up from Southern California, like the berries from San Diego I bought last week at the farmer’s market.  Now is the time to combine strawberries and rhubarb in your baking while the strawberries can benefit from the sugar added to the rhubarb for sweetness.

Rhubarb season runs from January, for the hot house grown rhubarb, all the way into Summer months for the field grown rhubarb which we do grow in California.  However, most of our rhubarb comes from Washington and Oregon where this cool weather loving crop thrives.  The main reason we may not be able to find rhubarb in our markets is due to it’s dwindling popularity.  There just isn’t that much rhubarb grown compared to earlier years when it was more popular with consumers.  I read that San Leandro in Alameda County had a rhubarb belt that consisted of more than 1300 acres, but that was before 1940.

When I see the familiar red stocks of rhubarb in the market in early Spring, I think of rhubarb with strawberries and buy a big bag.  Then I hope that the next time I go the market I find rhubarb again and plan on buying another bag before it disappears and I have to wait until next Spring.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Rhubarb Conserve

Yield: 24 muffins plus 2 cups Rhubarb Conserve

Recipe adapted from Cooking from the Garden- best recipes of Kitchen Gardener.

Ingredients

  • 3 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking spice, Penzeys brand
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 & 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Rhubarb Conserve (recipe follows)
  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger chips
  • For the Rhubarb Conserve
  • 4 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional but very good)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Line 2 -12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Stir in the Rhubarb Conserve, chopped strawberries, ginger and wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, gently mixing until just combined.
  6. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tins using an ice cream scoop.
  7. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the middle springs back when gently pressed-rotate the pans half way through baking.
  8. Cool on metal racks.
  9. To Make the Rhubarb Conserve
  10. Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over a medium low heat.
  11. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
  12. Remove the rhubarb mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla paste, cool.
  13. The conserve can be kept in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
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Comments

  1. I love strawberry with rhubarb too, one of my favorite pies! These muffins are so lovely, wish I had one now for my Monday afternoon treat :).

  2. Well, happy strawberry rhubarb season to you, too! NOM NOM NOM! These look great! And I really must buy some vanilla paste. Thank you for the reminder. :)

  3. Now isn’t this just the most perfect spring muffin? I love it. So much easier than a pie (but with all the yumminess). I’m so glad that strawberry season is starting. Means my baby girl will be here soon!

  4. Yum, I love these muffins. I could really use some for breakfast perfect for on the go or in a hurry. Spring fruit and veggies are the best.

  5. I have been searching for rhubarb to pair with strawberries as the flavors signify spring has arrived! Your tempting muffins with oats and a dash of ginger are a lovely way to begin spring baking!

  6. Patty, your photos are so gorgeous – I had to Pin more than one! Love the idea using this classic pie combo in a muffin! BTW, a “rhubarb belt” sounds like heaven! :D

  7. These are to die for…save me some! I have a recipe w/rhubarb coming up too….rhubarb is on the brain!

  8. I’ve seen rhubarb in the market now…so that must mean Spring is officially here! I love rhubarb in many things, I even made rhubarb iced tea once! So, that said, I know that I am going to love these! We should be able to ship muffins…coz I sure want a BOX right now!!!! Ahhhh…

  9. Patty, I think these are some of the prettiest muffins I’ve ever seen. My mom always grew rhubarb in her garden and love to pair it with strawberries. You beautiful muffins make me think of her and many delicious memories!

  10. What a perfect morning treat! I adore rhubarb and have some in the refrigerator. I adore your conserve you made and need to make this very soon. Loving this weather – aren’t you? :-)

  11. I made a strawberry and rhubarb pie yesterday and it’s gone today. I need to repeat it. And I like the idea for rhubarb conserve :)

  12. I just got some rhubarb from the grocery store and was debating what to do with it…and now I find myself reading your post…looks luxurious these muffins…and yes, I love your rhubarb conserve.
    Beautiful pictures Patty…as always.
    Hope you are having a lovely week :)

  13. Since first spotting that first picture on my Facebook feed I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these muffins. You always share the most enticing berry recipes (among other things)–in salads or baked. Love this one just like all the rest.

  14. I love the combo of strawberry and rhubarb … a classic. These muffins look fantastic, Patty.

  15. Love all the fresh berries that are starting to show up. These muffins are wonderful. I have had strawberry and rhubarb together in pie and jam, but not muffins!

  16. Such a beautiful batch of muffins for spring! These look delectable and delicious, Patty! Perfect for a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch.

  17. Oh Patty, this looks divine! I’ll remember this the next time I have rhubarb in the house.

  18. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I haven’t bought any rhubarb and I keep running into it at the fruit market. Now I know what to make with it. These muffins are so delicate and your photos are gorgeous, Patty!

  19. Patty…..I love the classic combo of strawberry and rhubarb and these muffins are absolutely gorgeous. I hope you will pop a few of these in the freezer to enjoy when the fruits are out of season. Patiently awaiting strawberry season here on the east coast…..but these muffins are making it hard! : )

  20. I’ll be pinning this and that gorgeous blueberry ricotta cake below! Both recipes sound wonderful!

  21. Patty, I accidentally deleted all unread posts from all my bloglovin blogs I follow, so now I’m scrambling to find all my favorites I missed! So sorry I’m coming by a little late! :( These muffins are so pretty and happy! I love the idea of putting rhubarb in a muffin…and your photos are beautiful!

  22. These look amazing – they exude summertime to me.

  23. Rhubarb is hard to find, at least out here. I was hoping to grab some and strawberries too and the market. Sniff, sniff. I think we have a few weeks still until our market gets good out here. I have rhubarb jam or conserve or something on my list. Hope you have a great weekend.
    -Gina-

  24. I love the combination of Strawberry and Rhubarb a lot. These muffins are gorgeous. I never make a rhubarb conserve before and I better start cooking. ;) Have a great weekend.

  25. Strawberry and rhubarb are a match made in pie heaven – and muffin heaven from the looks of yours! Gorgeous pics, Patty! Where can I pick up some of those cute checked utensils that everyone but me seems to have?! Have fun on your vacation :)

  26. These pictures just scream springy happiness. I need to give rhubarb another chance. I think I’ve only baked with it once and maybe I was a little too light on the sugar. These look like a much better alternative! Great pictures, too. :)

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