Rhubarb is well-documented as one of my most favourite things, so when I saw a photo of those pretty pink stalks on my local greengrocers' Twitter (yes, I realise that sentence is a bit ridiculous...) I had to grab some immediately. Like my other favourite food season, British asparagus season, the time for Yorkshire rhubarb is too short for my liking, so I'm intending to make the very most of it whilst I can.
Starting with these rhubarb and orange muffins from Signe Johansen's 'How to Hygge', whipped up for me to enjoy for breakfasts all this week. And this is just the beginning of my rhubarb baking, with these blondies firmly on my list, and Harry Style's Dutch Baby from Ruby Tandoh's Flavour for starters. I'd love any other rhubarb recipes you've got up your sleeves!
A note on 'How to Hygge'; I know that some people are getting a bit fatigued by the hygge trend but I am certainly not one of them. It's not so much a trend, as a way of life, and I love the philosophy on food (and Nordic life) that Signe lays out in her book: 'work efficiently, be active, eat what you love, and make the most of those convival moments of downtime during the day'. I need to work on the active part, but I definitely have the eat what you love part down.
'How to Hygge' is more of a lifestyle book that covers a wh0le array of 'hyggelig' things, but there's a big section of beautifully shot recipes right in the centre, ranging from Scandi salads and morning porridges to comforting bakes like these muffins, perfect for enjoying a little 'Fika' - a moment in your day to switch off, enjoy the company of your friends or colleagues, and tuck into a slice of cake and a cup of coffee. I tell you, those Nordic folk have got it right. The zingy rhubarb and orange in these muffins make them feel surprisingly light and summery, whilst still having that comforting carby-ness that you need on winter days. When it's dreary outside, I'm pretty sure these will bring you a spot of sunshine to your day. And if you're looking for a lovely present for a friend, this book would be perfect!
(Makes 12 muffins)
- 200g rhubarb, cut into 5mm slices
- 2 unwaxed oranges
- 250g plain flour
- 185g golden caster sugar (plus extra for the rhubarb)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 150g Greek yoghurt
- 100g butter, melted
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases. Place a shallow tray with water on a lower shelf in the oven.
- Place the rhubarb in a bowl and mix with the zest and juice of one orange, and a spoonful or two of sugar. Stir to coat the rhubarb.
- Sieve all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and and stir through so the raising agents are evenly distributed. Stir in the zest of the other orange.
- Make a well in the middle and add all the wet ingredients.
- Stir the mixture in a figure-of-eight pattern, making sure the scoop up the dry bits around the edges of the bowl. After about a dozen stirs, add the rhubarb, along with some of the juices from the bowl for extra flavour.
- Stir the rhubarb through a few times and then use a large spoon to dollop the mixture into the muffin cases.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen, look golden brown and feel firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack (although they're pretty good when still a bit warm, too!)
By Signe Johansen