Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lisa! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I’m having a love hate relationship with these muffins. My favorite muffin forever has been blueberry. So of course, I decided to make blueberry muffins for this challenge, but work towards developing my own. I started with this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I modified it quite a bit before actually making the original recipe. Not always the best idea, but well, I was in a hurry. At first I hated them and almost threw them all in the garbage. After sitting, however, I liked them again.

I think the issue is that these are slightly healthier muffins. Not a health food, but healthier than say, a Starbucks muffin. There isn’t much fat, not much sugar, and flax for that I-feel-less-guilty-when-eating-these. I’m trying to add more flax to our baked goods, since it has so many health benefits, particularly all those Omega-3s. But when eating a muffin, most of the time we expect it to be sweet. These aren’t overly sweet, so once I got past that, I really liked them. My taste buds just needed a moment to adjust. I didn’t particularly care for the whole flax seeds, but the flax meal was not noticeable.

All that being said, these are a work in progress. But for now, they are a decent muffin, quite good with coffee. I used Meyer lemons since they are in season but traditional lemons will work fine. I’m posting two recipes: one with the healthier additions (which is the one I made) and the less healthier muffin for those days when you just need a muffin.

Lemon Blueberry Flax Muffins

Yield: 12 to 15 muffins

Time: Less than one hour including bake time

Difficulty: Very Easy

One Year Ago: Leaning Tower of Red Velvet

Modified from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 TB butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TB lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta (or 3/4 cup milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Sanding (coarse) sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with papers or grease.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the ricotta, mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix untilalmostcombined. The key to tender muffins is to not over mix!

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the blueberries. Continue folding gently if needed until all flour is mixed in.

6. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, sprinkle with sugar,  and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely – they taste better after sitting for a while.

Lemon Blueberry Less Healthy Version

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 TB butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TB lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta (or 3/4 cup milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Sanding (coarse) sugar for sprinkling

Follow the same instructions as above.

Enjoy with coffee!

 

 

 

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Daring Bakers, muffins

Cheesecake Deconstructed: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits

I was recently cleaning out my recipe baskets, which are (were) full of magazines, printed recipes, and who knows what else, when I found a stack of old Food & Wine Magazines. It was like Christmas going through them and finding all the pages marked with recipes that I never made. I needed a dessert for dinner and found something unique and new: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits. It tastes like cheesecake but in the form of custard. Very rich, very sweet, but fresh and light at the same time.

I think my custard was a little runnier than it was supposed to be, just from comparing the picture in the magazine, but it was still very tasty. I made the shortbread and compote the day before, and the custard the day of dinner.

The shortbread is good all by itself, and very easy to make. The cornmeal adds a nice crunch and slightly salty taste. The custard was a little more complicated, as custards usually are, but never fear, they are still doable.  When tempering the eggs, add all the milk very slowly. And, make sure you stir until hot because corn starch needs heat to be activated. You will see it suddenly start to thicken and that is what you want. If you take it off the heat too soon, it will not thicken as it cools.

It’s a great dessert for a dinner party because all the components can be made in advance, making your job as a host easy. They will think you slaved for days in the kitchen, just for them. And there’s no reason to tell them otherwise.

Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits

From Food & Wine Magazine, contributed by Maggie Leung

Shortbread

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the cornmeal and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter with the confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until the dough just comes together. Pat the shortbread dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the chilled shortbread dough and roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper to an 8-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut the dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips and transfer the strips to the baking sheets; leave 1 inch between each strip. Refrigerate the dough strips for 30 minutes, until chilled.
  3. Bake the shortbread for about 20 minutes, until golden; rotate the pans halfway through for even baking. While the warm shortbread strips are still on the baking sheet, cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Let cool, about 30 minutes.

 

Blueberry Compote

  • 2 cups blueberries (12 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until the blueberries break down, about 5 minutes. Scrape the blueberry sauce into a blender, add the lemon juice and puree until smooth. Scrape the blueberry sauce into a bowl and fold in the remaining 1 cup of whole blueberries. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Cheesecake Custard

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra strips for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of the milk to a boil with 3 tablespoons of the sugar; remove from the heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks, then pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly over moderate heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. (This took longer for me, closer to 5 minutes). To get a smoother custard, strain at this point.
  4.  Over low heat, whisk in the cream cheese, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and vanilla extract until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the cheesecake custard into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  5. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream to medium peaks. (I added Grand Marnier) Fold the whipped cream into the chilled cheesecake custard until no streaks remain. Spoon the shortbread cubes and custard into bowls. Drizzle with the blueberry compote, garnish with the lemon zest strips and serve.

5 Comments

Filed under cheesecake, custard

The “Can’t Eat Just One” Lemon Sugar Cookie

It’s spring time. Spring time screams for refreshing tastes, even in our cookies. Enter the Lemon Sugar Cookie. I don’ t know what it is about these cookies that makes them so good. I challenge you to eat just one! They are light, airy, lemony, and downright delicious.

And they are so fast to make. Like an hour, tops, including bake time. Can’t beat that, right? I got this recipe from culinary school, so I’m not sure of the original source. This cookie was also my first hands on baking test (and I got an A, in case you were wondering. I know you were!). And, these are not your traditional slice and bake type sugar cookies. These are drop cookies (so please don’t use this recipe for cut out cookies. It won’t work!) I used a scoop that was 1 1/2 TB. These would be perfect for a spring time picnic. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen

  • 8 oz butter (2 sticks) room temp
  • 7 oz sugar (just under 1 cup)
  • 1 TB Brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TB lemon zest
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 10 oz flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Additional 1 cup sugar as needed for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Cream together the butter, sugars, salt, and zest in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at medium speed for 5 minutes. Set a timer – the 5 minutes is very important to the fluffiness of the cookie!

3. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.

4. Whisk the flour and baking powder. Add to wet mixture and mix until combined. Careful not to overmix.

5. Line two sheet pans with silpat or parchment. Scoop cookies and roll in sugar. Place onto sheet pan and chill for about 10 minutes. Then flatten cookies slightly. Using a glass or ramekin is the easiest way.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly golden on the edges. Watch carefully – they can overcook quickly!

7. Let cool on rack.

8. Eat.

10 Comments

Filed under Cookies