Monday, January 04, 2021

A Muffin To Welcome 2021

Happy New Year! 

I try to bake with seasonal foods, I really do. But sometimes there will be an item at the market that just calls out to me. That happened when I passed the produce section of Whole Foods on my way to get some non-dairy ricotta filled tortellini (they are the only local store that carries this item as far as I know). The fresh raspberries were so beautiful and red and juicy looking that I couldn't resist.

To make up for failing to use seasonal, I did use lots of Meyer lemon zest and juice, along with the raspberries and  non-dairy ricotta cheese (Kite Hill makes a delicious ricotta), to make these light and bright muffins. You can, of course, use regular lemons and regular ricotta cheese. That dollop of sweet lemony creaminess hidden toward the bottom is such a joy to discover as you eat the muffin! The fragrance is amazing, too. The raspberries are a bright color note and provide natural sweetness, too. By putting them into the top batter, it helps them not sink to the bottom. Try them yourself and see if you don't agree that straying from seasonal now and then is delicious.

Raspberry and Meyer Lemon Muffins
Makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
finely grated zest of one Meyer lemon (or regular lemon if Meyer unavailable), divided

2 eggs, beaten 
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
juice of 1 Meyer lemon, seeds removed
1 cup soy creamer or whole milk or buttermilk

1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon milk or soy creamer
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1 heaping cup fresh raspberries, washed and drained
about 1 tablespoon clear sparkling or sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with baking spray (I used a six pan oversized muffin pan). Set aside.

In a bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Add half the lemon zest and stir to distribute.

In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, butter, lemon juice and milk or buttermilk.

Prepare the filling by stirring together the ricotta cheese, milk, powdered sugar and the remaining half the lemon zest in a small bowl until completely combined. Set aside.

Add the wet ingredient mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork, just until all the dry ingredients have been moistened. Don't overmix.

Scoop enough of the batter into the prepared muffin tins to cover the bottom. Dollop about a teaspoon of the ricotta mixture on top. Stir the raspberries gently into the remaining batter, then top the ricotta mixture in the pans with the berry-rich batter, distributing evenly. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired, distributing evenly.

 Bake in preheated oven for 17 - 25 minutes until tops are golden brown and the center springs back when pressed down with a clean finger. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack 3-5 minutes, then removed carefully from the muffin tin and serve.



  1. Oooh - first, I didn't know there WAS non-dairy ricotta - but I'm so glad there is. Secondly, those look like gorgeous muffins, and I have cranberries purchased after the holiday to use up - yum! I'll have to fiddle with the sugar, I'm sure - the raspberries aren't quite as much of a challenge in terms of bitter/sour flavor, even out of season - but this looks like a lovely usage!

    Happy New Year, in spite of everything.

  2. Hi Tanita...yes, Kite Hill ricotta is wonderful. I find it at Whole Foods and Oliver's here. For the cranberries, maybe you could chop them and mix with some sugar or even cook into a compote with sweetner before putting in the muffins...the compote could go in with the ricotta mixture, then get covered with the batter? Let me know how it goes. Happy New Year to you!