One of the most anticipatory bits of summer when I was a little person were those times when my Mom had leftover strawberry shortcake. When there were enough buttery biscuits and strawberry compote (and, CoolWhip, of course) for my brother, sister and I, we would get to enjoy this treat for breakfast while sitting on deck in the sun near the peach tree, swinging our little legs under the table and allowing the crumbs and berry juices to cover our mouths and sometimes the front of our t-shirts. And, of course, sometimes our bathing suits when we woke up and immediately put them on.
I don’t recall that there was ever rhubarb on my breakfast shortcake – my only recollections of rhubarb involve my father insisting that the store-bought, home-baked slices of wet crust encasing a pale pink filling (apparently dubbed “strawberry rhubarb”) that my grandmother brought over for Easter were especially good for me because they contained the stuff. My dad has always had a little thing for the off-beat greens.
Fast-forward to my breakfast cravings of late, as the farmer’s markets are exploding with strawberries at last, and I finally understand why a baker might choose to pair these juicy red gems with tart, delicious rhubarb. This is not the first strawberry-rhubarb iteration that I have played with; this crumble is a standard in our house. But these little muffins are a nice new, more nutritious way to have your strawberries and shortcake for breakfast (without the CoolWhip, however.)
The roasted berries are just as delightful on top of ice cream, crusty bread, or tossed in salad as they are on top of the muffins and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.