I am having a terrific time baking my way through Cooking Light’s feature on “Munchable Muffins” from the May 2011 issue. I was quite smitten with the first batch of Pistachio Chai Muffins, and the Corn Muffins with Bacon, Cheddar, and Jalapeno that followed them were surprisingly even better.
As soon as The Astronomer and I returned and recovered from our recent travels across the country, I was ready to bake up batch number three. It turns out that the pleasure of biting into a tender muffin, hot from the oven, can be quite addicting.
These lemon ricotta muffins were part of a brunch spread that we prepared for our friends last Sunday. I usually never serve a yet-to-be-tested recipe to guests, but decided to take a chance since the other muffins turned out so superbly. Thankfully, my logic was sound in this case.
Just like the muffins that proceeded them, the texture of these was fantastic. It’s incredible how soft of a crumb can be achieved by only lightly combining the dry and wet ingredients. Flavor-wise, the combination of zest and juice imparted a bright lemony essence. My favorite element was the muffin tops, which were generously sprinkled with coarse turbinado sugar. The crunch and caramelization elevated the muffins from great to amazing.
- 7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in center.
Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins.