Rhubarb and raspberry studded muffins filled with sweet vanilla custard. The perfect combination of tart and sweet for a morning tea treat.
As a child, I could not stand rhubarb or custard. I wasn’t going to be fooled by rhubarb’s enticing pink hue. It was obviously just disgusting celery in disguise. And custard? Bleurgh. Why would I want to eat that gloopy yellow mess that grows it’s own skin if you leave it uncovered for long enough? Gross. Thankfully I no longer believe that rhubarb is out to get me, and have learned that it is in fact very delicious.
This week I did some research into forced rhubarb, after seeing it advertised in all the fruit and vegetable shops. This sweet, tender rhubarb is grown out of season in disturbingly named “forcing sheds”, where the stalks are deprived of sunlight. In its search for the sun, the rhubarb grows much faster than usual – in some cases so fast that you can actually hear it growing!
The thought of pitch black sheds full of squealing rhubarb is so horrifying, I had to alleviate my emotional trauma with baked goods (evidently, anthropomorphising rhubarb is not a habit I’ve grown out of). Luckily there is nothing quite so soothing as the combination of stewed fruit and warm vanilla custard, and this recipe reimagines the classic pairing in muffin form.
The secret to light fluffy muffins is not to over mix the batter. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, fold gently until the flour is just combined.
Use ready made custard, instant custard made from powder, or your own recipe from scratch. My lemon curd recipe also makes a delicious muffin filling.
Whatever type of custard you use, cool in the fridge before using so it isn’t warm and runny.
Add frozen raspberries straight from the freezer. If left to defrost the juices will stain the batter pink.
- 250 g plain flour
- 3 t baking powder
- 2 T custard powder
- 190 g white sugar
- 100 g rhubarb cut into 1 inch lengths
- 100 g raspberries fresh or frozen
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml milk
- 180 ml oil or melted butter
- 125 ml vanilla custard cold from the fridge
Preheat oven to 180ºC and fill a 12 cup muffin tray with muffin liners. Lightly grease the inside of the liners with baking spray, oil or butter.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and custard powder. Add sugar and mix well.
Add rhubarb and raspberries, then mix again and make a well in the centre.
In a separate jug, whisk together eggs, milk and oil/melted butter. Pour into the dry ingredients, and gently fold until just combined.
Pour a generous tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup, then top with a heaped teaspoon of vanilla custard. Cover the custard with the rest of the batter.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and leave muffins in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.