STRAWBERRY AND RICOTTA MUFFINS

These strawberry and ricotta muffins, scented with lemon zest and a touch of cinnamon are light, fluffy and perfect for Spring picnics so many of us enjoy. They’re simple to make and take no time at all to bake; so why not bring a freshly baked batch of muffins to your next picnic and say arrivederci to those supermarket cupcakes…

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Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 150g chopped strawberries (1 cup)

  • 80ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)

  • 80ml honey (1/3 cup)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 60ml milk of choice (1/4 cup)

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 170g ricotta, firm and well-drained (1 cup)

Dry

  • 200g wholemeal flour (roughly 1 & 3/4 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Icing sugar for dusting, optional

  • Extra strawberries for decorating, optional

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (conventional). Grease (or line with paper cups) a 12-hole muffin pan.

 

  • Cut strawberries into small pieces, set aside.

 

  • In a small bowl combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.

 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and honey. Add the eggs and whisk well to combine. Then add the vanilla, milk and lemon zest, whisking to incorporate.

 

  • Add the ricotta and gently whisk until it is well incorporated. (It is ok to have tiny lumps of ricotta)

 

  • Gradually fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until combined and until there are no lumps of flour left.

 

  • Add the chopped strawberries and gently fold through until well distributed. (Tip: Toss the strawberries in a pinch of flour first to lightly coat them as this will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of each muffin when they bake).

 

  • Evenly distribute mixture into muffin holes and top each muffin with a strawberry slice.

 

  • Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven. Lightly dust with icing sugar.

 

  • Muffins will keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days in a cool, dry place. Or freeze for up to 1 month.