Lemon Blackberry Ricotta Muffins
May 28, 2011 11 Comments
Good news and good food are both meant to be shared. As everyone knows, finding a summer job/internship these days can be frustrating and fruitless. When the internship you want is in the arts, and it’s paid… well, you can pretty much reduce your chances to something along the lines of winning the lottery. Well, this post is about good news right?
I won the lottery! I got the internship!
So in celebration of my 40 hours/week workweek this summer (so much for lazy days at the beach and baking as much possible), I thought I would share these amazing (and fruitful, ha!) muffins. I know that when I’m rushing out to catch the early bus, these will keep me sane. Good news and good food: mutually reinforcing.
As the name suggests, blackberries are essential to this recipe. Plump, ripe, bitter, and sweet this wonderful berry is the harbinger of summer. If you’re not feeling muffins so much, won’t you make some blackberry ice cream?
The best part about baking with berries is keeping them whole and having them burst inside the muffin/cupcake/whatever and get all molten and gooey. You’ll see what I mean at the end. If blackberries were in season year-round (someone needs to figure this out immediately) the world would be a better place.
After your berries have been washed, get all the dry ingredients together. That’s your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I would actually recommend sifting the flour, but the original recipe doesn’t say that this is necessary. I think that sifting yields a puffier, lighter texture which explains why my muffins look a lot more… elevated.
Another key flavor is lemon. Fresh and bright, this pairs well with the stronger, fuller flavor of blackberries.
The recipe calls for lemon zest, so get that zester out! I love how a little lemon zest makes so many recipes better.
Next, rub the lemon zest into the sugar…
… and then cream the lemon zest-sugar with butter until nice and fluffy.
Add the ricotta cheese. I don’t know if the tartness of the muffins comes from the lemons or the ricotta cheese, but having made muffins before, I think the ricotta cheese adds a level of silkiness and moistness to the muffins.
Finish up the wet ingredients with egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Admittedly, I was a little worried when things looked a little curdled as they do now. But it worked out.
Once I added the dry ingredients, it all came together nicely.
A textured, lemony, almost mousse-like muffin batter remains.
Divide it all up in a muffin tin.
And plop in 2-3 blackberries in each muffin cup. This method guarantees a certain number of blackberries per muffin, which is important because it would absolutely suck to have a muffin with only one blackberry.
Be still my beating heart.
So after covering the muffins with more batter, you’re ready for the last step.
Turbinado sugar time! If you don’t think you’re going to use this kind of sugar that often, grab a few packets the next time you go to a Starbucks. You will only need 2-3 packets for the entire batch of muffins. But seriously, turbinado sugar adds a really nice crunch to the tops of everything. And having it on hand will get you to make French butter cookies (these are so high on my “to bake” list!).
After baking, here’s what you get. Ridiculous.
I don’t think there is a more perfect muffin in existence.
The slightly crusty exterior gives way to a moist, berryful, and slightly tangy interior.
From the crunch of the sugar on the top to the ooziness of the blackberry inside, these muffins are absolutely addictive.
I command each of you to make this recipe, it’s seriously flawless. It’s from a really wonderful blog, Two Peas and Their Pod. My only modification was to sift my dry ingredients together, and I do think it made a difference.
P.S. I didn’t realize until writing this and going to their site again for the link to the recipe, but I used the same muffin liners at Two Peas and Their Pod for this recipe… I swear I’m not creepy. Really.