Lemon and raspberry has long been one of my favourite fruit combinations. In the past, I have made batch after batch of ordinary lemon raspberry muffins, but it wasn't until I had some leftover ricotta cheese waiting to be used in the fridge, that I started to think about putting it in muffins.
I'm so glad I did though because since that fateful day 6 months ago, ricotta has gone into my lemon raspberry muffins every time I make them, and there's been no looking back!
The addition of ricotta gives the muffins a depth a flavour and a richness that you don't get without it. They don't taste like cheese, or even like cheesecake, and you'd probably never guess that the secret ingredient was ricotta cheese unless someone told you.
The richness of the ricotta perfectly sets off the tartness of the lemon, which comes through like a ray of sunshine! In this recipe you add the lemon zest while your creaming together the butter and sugar so that the sugar acts like a sort of exfoliant for the zest causing it to release all its lemony oils and intensify the flavour. (P.s. If you look carefully at the picture below you'll be able to see that I had a helper making these!)
I used frozen raspberries for my muffins, but really any sort of berry would do. You could use fresh berries, but it makes it a bit harder to stir them in, as fresh berries are more fragile and prone to breaking. This results in a batter that's coloured by the juice of whatever berry you choose to use. Pink batter can look pretty though!
Now's the perfect time to whip up some of these special muffins. Keep the ricotta cheese a secret and see if anyone can guess what makes them so special!
Lemon Ricotta Raspberry Muffins
2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 lemons, zested
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used full fat)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raspberries (I used frozen)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream together your butter, sugar, and lemon zest. I just used a spoon, but if you want to make life easier, you could also use an electric mixer. Once light and fluffy, add the ricotta cheese and mix together until smooth. Beat in your eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just blended. The batter will be thick! Then gently stir in your raspberries. If you're using fresh berries here be extra careful, as raspberries are fragile and their juice will quickly turn your batter pink! Spoon the batter evenly into each cup of your muffin tin.
4. Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden. Cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin, and then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
~ Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod