I think baking blueberry muffins in August is a really good idea. Blueberries are plump, sweet and cheap in the market this time of year. A few months ago I made a blueberry ricotta custard cake that we loved so I thought why not try ricotta baked in a blueberry muffin and see what happens?…I also added lemon sugar to the tops of my blueberry muffins which added extra sweetness, lemony flavor and a slight crunch to each bite of these very happening muffins. My only regret -that I didn’t bring these muffins with me on vacation to Bend in Central Oregon where I would have loved one for my breakfast this morning.
After going on a 3 hour mountain bike ride in the Deschutes National Forest today I could have used a few of these muffins with extra lemon sugar topping as fuel for the strenuous ride. Today’s mountain biking adventure was fantastic but I think I let the idea of trying new things while on vacation go to my head when I signed both myself and my husband up for this group trail ride with Cog Wild in Bend, Oregon. This was real mountain biking with winding trails, rocks, dirt, trail heads, trees and lots of ups and downs. Austin, our trip leader was very supportive and kept telling me I could do everything that we encountered on the trails (stay to the right, stay to the left, just use one finger on the brakes, follow me etc). I started thinking, Wow- this mountain bike is cool, it goes over everything on the trail! But after a few difficult rocky stretches on the trail I wasn’t so sure and lost a little confidence when a couple of the experienced riders slid and fell on the trail right in front of me-whoops-ouch!
Is mountain biking a new sport that I will be taking up in my late fifties, no probably not but I could see myself setting up a trail snack station at one of the popular ‘hubs’ we stopped at to check our map, drink water and fight off a few aggressive bees. Ice tea and blueberry ricotta muffins with lemon sugar topping would be on my menu. I would also give directions to lost riders for free and maybe a little motherly positive encouragement to go with the muffins and ice tea.
I’m so glad this cabin we’re staying in has a hot tub right out the back door which sounds like a such a good place to spend time tonight, now I just have to figure out what we can make for dinner with blueberries, bananas, bread, peanut butter, eggs, tortillas, wine and milk because I’m really not feeling a trip to the store tonight.
Adapted from the blog Culinerapy who adapted from Dorie Greenspan.
- 3/4 cup whole milk Ricotta, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick unsalted butter, 4 ounces, melted and cooled
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar, 2/3 for the muffin batter, 1/3 for the lemon sugar topping
- Finely grated zest of a lemon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 & 1/3 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with baking spray or line with paper cups.
- In a large bowl add the lemon zest to the sugar and rub together with your fingertips until well incorporated, remove 1/3 cup of the lemon sugar for the muffin topping.
- Place the ricotta, eggs and vanilla in a medium size bowl, whisk together and stir in the melted butter.
- Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the large bowl containing the lemon sugar.
- Gently stir the ricotta mixture into the sugar/flour mixture, the batter will be very thick.
- Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups and evenly sprinkle the lemon sugar on muffin tops.
- Place the muffins into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes away clean.
- Place on metal rack to cool.
Reading a trail map just like reading a recipe for blueberry muffins…