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Have you guys tried rhubarb yet? After baking with it for the first time last spring, I am completely smitten. I know, it looks like red celery, but don’t be put off by that.  Rhubarb adds a wonderful tart quality to baked goods and pairs perfectly with a number of other fruits.  To this point, I’ve really only tried it in combination with strawberries, but after splurging on a few too many raspberries at the store a couple of weeks ago, I decided to broaden my horizons.  I began searching for ways to bake with my raspberries and rhubarb and when I came upon these muffins in my Flour cookbook, I knew I’d found a winner.

One of my very favorite things about this recipe is that the instructions mention that the batter can be made a day ahead of time and kept refrigerated until you’re ready to bake.  While the recipe is super simple (just two bowls, no mixer), some mornings you don’t even want to do that much work to enjoy freshly baked muffins :)  It also makes this a great recipe for entertaining.  I’ve always wondered whether making batter ahead of time was a possibility with muffins, and though I have no idea if this works with all recipes, I can tell you it works beautifully here!  I put together the batter and baked a few muffins immediately then refrigerated the remaining batter and made more muffins the following day.  I didn’t notice any difference between the two batches of muffins – they were both fluffy and light, with juicy red raspberries and rhubarb and just a slightly tangy flavor thanks to the creme fraiche.

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A quick note on the creme fraiche – I had to visit 4 stores to find it, and when I finally did it wasn’t cheap.  I enjoyed these muffins so much that I would spend the money again, but the good news is that you can make your own creme fraiche at home more cheaply (here’s one method).  I definitely plan to try it next time.  In a pinch, sour cream works too, but won’t yield quite as delicious a result.

(PS – If you like giant muffins, feel free to make just 12 muffins with this batter – you’ll have to fill the wells of the muffin pans all the way to the top and bake them longer (30-40 minutes).  The original recipe went that route but I prefer my muffins on the smaller side).

Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins
adapted slightly from Flour by Joanne Chang

3 1/4 cups (455 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups (270 g) sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 cup creme fraiche, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (130 g) raspberries (fresh or frozen work – I used fresh)
1 cup (120 g) chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until well combined.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the sugar, butter, milk, creme fraiche, and vanilla to the eggs.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once and use a rubber spatula to fold together just until incorporated.  Add the raspberries and rhubarb and gently mix to distribute throughout the batter.  (The batter will be lumpy, that’s fine!)

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pans, filling each well about 3/4-full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when pressed with your finger.  A toothpick inserted in the center should have just a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the muffin pans to wire racks and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pans.

Makes 20-24 muffins