Last month, Susan Barnes sent in a request for rhubarb muffins. We received a flurry of responses -- clearly, rhubarb muffins are a favourite among Recipe Swap readers -- from Justina Doerksen, Janet Newbold, Esther McKenty, Joanne Mcmahon, Lynda Bagacki, Cynthia Shumski, Jean Demery, Linda Snider and Elsie Kosowan. Thanks to everyone. It was hard to choose from so many offerings, but we went with a rhubarb-strawberry version from Janet Meads of Balmoral, and a rhubarb, orange and pecan recipe from Ellen McKenzie.
This week, Jean Hardie is looking for a Turkish delight slice that features a shortbread base, Turkish delight filling and a coconut topping, while Susan Denbow would love the recipe for the ham and relish sandwiches at Eaton's -- she used to eat them with her grandmother -- and the panko-crusted chicken fingers once served at Grapes.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
675 ml (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) packed brown sugar
6 ml (1 1/4 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg, well beaten
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk or soured milk
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) finely chopped rhubarb
175 ml (3/4 cup) chopped strawberries
125 ml (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and mix well. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, egg, buttermilk, rhubarb and strawberries. Add dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into greased standard-sized muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full to make 18 muffins. Make topping by combining brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake 25-30 minutes or until tops spring back when gently touched. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Tester's notes: I managed to find some young, tender, red rhubarb and it contrasted beautifully with the brown sugar. Janet writes that these muffins are popular at her workplace. She often uses 500 ml (2 cups) rhubarb instead of the rhubarb-strawberry mix -- that's what I did, and it worked perfectly. Janet doesn't always add the topping -- she finds it very sweet -- but she points out that it does help keep the muffins moist for longer.
Prize-Winning Rhubarb Pecan Muffins
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
175 ml (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
175 ml (3/4 cup) chopped pecans
1 large egg
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
10 ml (2 tsp) grated orange rind
175 ml (3/4 cup) orange juice
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) finely chopped fresh rhubarb
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nuts. In medium bowl, beat an egg. Add oil, orange rind and juice. Add to flour all at once and stir just until batter is moist. Stir in rhubarb. Spoon batter into standard-sized greased muffin pans, filling three-quarters full. Bake about 20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen muffins.
Tester's notes: Rhubarb and orange are a natural combination in this delicious muffin recipe, which was featured in the Vancouver Sun. A similar version from Esther McKenty, who found the recipe through a CBC contest, uses 250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour and 250 ml (1 cup) whole-wheat flour, so you can make that substitution for a healthier muffin.