The other day a colleague and I were making a long drive for a meeting. Since we had such an early start we decided to bring some treats for the car. I wanted to make ricotta muffins because I had some ricotta that needed to be used. I also had some Meyer lemons in the fridge. Throw in some raspberries that ALSO needed to be out of the fridge and I had a plan.
With my good friend google I consulted the great cookbook known as the internet where I found a great sounding recipe for Lemon Ricotta muffins. The recipe was by Giada de Laurentiis so normally I would run for the hills, however it hit all of the right buttons so I persevered. Raspberries were not included in the recipe but 'how hard would it be to toss some in?' I thought.
I love what ricotta cheese does to baked goods. It lightens, and fluffs, and imparts such a lovely consistency to the batter. I had had a lot of success adding it to our favorite pancake recipe, so I was almost positive this recipe would prevail. And whatever you do, don't substitute for the almond extract. The intense flavor it provides works so beautifully with the fresh lemon.
This was an easy recipe to follow and the resulting muffins were incredible - definitely a new favourite for me! In fact, when we got back my colleague grabbed the leftovers and ran. Good thing I had 6 left at home to share with Paolo.
Raspberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar for sprinkling
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).
Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 22-24 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.