Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam & English Muffins

I have been on an ongoing quest to find delicious ideas for grab and go breakfasts. I did a post a few weeks ago about my obsession with the English muffins from Model Bakery in Napa and St. Helena. I saw a really easy looking recipe for English muffins on one of my favorite sites,, and figured I would give it a shot. Who knew whipping up a batch of English muffins was so easy? It is seriously like making pancakes.
I saw some beautiful strawberries and rhubarb at my local farmers market and thought it would be the perfect shmear. Unfortunately, I think I am ruined for life because once you make your own jam from scratch there is really no going back to buying the store bought stuff. I literally want to put this jam on everything.
The English muffin/strawberry-rhubarb jam duo is a great breakfast or snack. If you want to kick it up a level you can throw on a thick piece of brie and some turkey and make a ridiculously good lunch sandwich.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
Recipe from and Bon Apetit

1 16-ounce container strawberries, trimmed and chopped
3 to 4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Put 2 saucers in freezer.

Transfer fruit mixture to large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Mash to thick puree with potato masher. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until mixture begins to thicken, stirring often, about 18 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat to test jam for gelling point. Drop 1 teaspoonful jam on chilled saucer and return to freezer 1 minute. Remove saucer and push edge of jam with fingertip. If jam has properly gelled, surface will gently wrinkle. If not, return saucepan to heat and cook jam a few minutes longer; repeat test.

Ladle the hot jam into clean jars, and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Ruhlman English Muffins
Recipe from

  • 2 ounces/60 grams butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 16 ounces milk/450 grams
  • 1 package active dry yeast (1-1/2 teaspoons, .25 ounces or 7 grams)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 16 ounces all-purpose flour/450 grams (or four fluffed cups)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (.25 ounces or 7 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
  • cornmeal for dusting
  1. Combine the butter and sugar in a small sauce pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the milk, stir it and remove it from the heat.  Stir in the yeast and the egg.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in mixing bowl.  Add the milk mixture and stir till it’s all well combined.  Cover and set aside for 1-1/2 hours, or refrigerate overnight (removing it from the fridge an hour before cooking). When it is done resting you will have a very thick, elastic batter.
  3. Heat a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. (I found medium-low heat worked best.)  If you’re using rings, butter them.  Stir the dissolved baking powder into the batter.  Dust the griddle or skillet with corn meal.  Scoop-pour about 1/4-cup portions onto the griddle, free form or in rings. (I did free form and they turned out great. No need for rings.)  Cook for about seven minutes.  Flip them and continue cooking till done, 7 to 10 more minutes.
  4. Allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes, pry in half with a fork, toast and serve with butter, honey, or jam, or beneath Canadian bacon, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.
* Ruhlman suggests prying the muffins open with a fork rather than cutting them with a knife. He says this helps maintain the spongy, "hole-yness" of the inside.