I have discovered something amazing.
Lemon Zested Sugar.
If y’all knew about this and didn’t share this with me… I think our relationship might be somewhat fractured :-).
When Tina announced that April’s Crazy Cooking Challenge was Blueberry Muffins, I knew that I wanted something different, something more, something tonguegasmic.
Maria is one of my favorite bloggers and I remembered bookmarking a muffin recipe of hers from last year, so I dove into my bookmarks (oh-dear-pinterest-I-am-so-grateful-for-you-now) and once I found it, I remembered why I had bookmarked it:
1) I’ve never used ricotta before
b) her photography is beyond amazing
c) Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins – need I say more?
The only difference was that I used blueberries instead of blackberries
Maria’s recipe needs no adaptation – it’s brilliant and perfect and wonderful as is.
I’ve never had blueberries and lemon together in a muffin before…
I can promise y’all right now. This combination will be happening again.
Oh yes. Yes, it will.
It’s from Maria that I learned about the Lemon Zest and Sugar trick – it’s honestly recipe-life changing – I’m going to re-make my Blackberry Lemon Coffee Cake using this trick – it subtly, but powerfully enhances the flavor of lemon in a brilliant way.
Okay — done raving about Maria (for now)
Back to the Crazy Cooking Challenge
- I whisked together all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl: cream together, lemon sugar and butter.
- Add in ricotta cheese (hello baking first!) and beat until smooth
- Beat in egg, fresh squeezed lemon juice and vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract – it’s a 1:1)
Once the wet ingredients are combined and smooth, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
- Line muffin tins with paper liners or spray with baking spray
- Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to fill the muffin tins, press 3 to 5 blueberries (depending on size of the berries) into the batter and then swirl the batter with your finger (or a spoon, if you don’t like gettin’ your fingers dirty)
- Top with turbinado sugar. Maria suggests a sprinkle – I don’t think what I did qualifies as a sprinkle…