Posted on: Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Did You Know? Ricotta, meaning twice-cooked, is made from the whey that is drained off while making cheeses such as mozzarella and provolone, and is technically not a cheese at all.

I first made these muffins a few years ago, when my sister, best friend, and I were creating a full on lemon-inspired meal. We had a flavorful lemon spaghetti for dinner, accompanied by a lemon dressed salad, and finished off with these fluffy biscuits. The whole meal, courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis, was so tasty, and these Lemon Ricotta Muffins were definately our favorite part. 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.

When I decided to dedicate a week or so to the seasonal Meyer lemon, I immediately thought of these, and the flavor that this hybrid citrus of sorts would provide. They were a favorite of my sisters, so I thought I would surprise her with this fresh and fluffy breakfast treat...



Lemon Ricotta Muffins

They turned out to be a huge hit with my whole family, especially the girls. There's just something about a tiny cupcake, wrapped in pale pink paper, and sprinkled with sugar crystals. These would be perfect for a Mother's Day brunch, or just a get-together with girlfriends. And that doesn't mean the men in your lives won't love them just the same, I just don't think they'll appreciate the delicate daintiness of them.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

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.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

...REMINDER...

Don't forget to send me your links for all those lemon recipes you have stashed away! I've already received so many, and I can't wait to show you all. Thanks again to everyone who has participated, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, read the end of this post.


18 comments:

  1. I love everything Giada makes, her show is my favorite on food network =)

    The muffins look so delicious!

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  2. I did not know that about ricotta...weird indeed.
    These look good, I love the addition of almonds on top. Hmmm I might have to give these a try for a sunday breakfast.

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  3. What lovely muffins! Almond and lemon work so well together, I'm sure that these are delicious.

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  4. they look so gorgeous/stunning/delicious!!
    And that is so cool you guys made an entire lemon inspired meal, what a great idea

    have a fantastic day!

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  5. Interesting facts about ricotta! And the muffin looks really good!

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  6. These are so pretty. Lemons and almond are some of my favorites ,, and in a muffin, probably wonderful with tea or coffee. Beautiful pictures too!

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  7. hey lovelie thanks so much for the info i'm heading over to his sight right now for some peanut better recipes, thanks heaps
    ox

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  8. You're so welcome Amira, have fun browsing!

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  9. These are so beautiful! I love meyer lemons, but they are so damn expensive here. I need to find a source that won't completely break the bank. Although I guess I could spring for 2 ;-)

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  10. Lovely photography on those muffins, they look so delectable. I love ricotta in anything :D

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  11. I had no idea that's how ricotta is made. I've never been a big fan but I could see how adding it to baked goods would make them more moist. I'll have to try this sometime:-)

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  12. one of my favourite local cafes in Melbourne make these and i *love* them - thanks for the recipe!!!

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  13. I just finished printing this out and can't wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    ~ingrid

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  14. I am adding as we speak the ingredients for this incredible recipe - This really looks great and there is nothing better than lemon in pretty much anything!!

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  15. Cathy: You won't be disappointed, I promise. The hint of almond is spot on. Enjoy!

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  16. Yum, these look luscious. I just bookmarked the recipe.

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  17. I adore ricotta!! Those muffins look so delicious!! Will make them tomorrow!!! MMMMMM...Love it!!

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