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Apr 17, 2009 04:14 PM

seeking extra-lemony lemon ricotta muffins

Yesterday I made a batch of lemon ricotta muffins that turned out delicious with a light lemon tone -- but I would like even more lemon flavor. Current recipe calls for 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, one cup ricotta, 1/3 cup milk, 6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel.

So, to kick up the lemony factor here --
I can increase the amount of lemon peel -- to how much?
And/or can I add in some lemon juice? Would I need to adjust the amount of sugar? Decrease amount of liquid elsewhere? (take out a teaspoon of the milk

I am not familiar with tweaking baking recipes... so any advice would be appreciated.
I also added in one punnet of blueberries, so perhaps that somewhat overwhelmed the lemony nature. But I would like to keep the berries.
thanks --

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  1. That sounds really good. If you want to keep the recipe the way it is, you could make candied lemons, chop the lemons and add to the batter. When baked, brush the lemon simple syrup leftover from the candied lemons on the muffins. You could definitely increase the lemon peel. I'd also substitute some, if not all, of the milk w/ lemon juice (keep it separate or it'll curdle, though that might not be a bad thing either, like buttermilk). It's interesting that it calls for powdered sugar in the batter. I've never seen that before with muffins.

    1. Should I try switching 2 Tbsp of lemon juice for the milk, maybe? Or one Tbsp?

      Candied lemons... that sounds really interesting. Would I do it like this? For the candied lemons, put lemons in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, drain and repeat this three or four times. Combine sugar and one cup water in a separate saucepan, bring to a boil, stir to dissolve sugar, then add lemon slices and cook over low heat until tender and translucent (30-40 minutes). Cool.

      3 Replies
      1. re: foxy fairy

        careful adding lemon juice -- the acid could have an effect on your batter. you could add lemon extract instead. definitely increase the zest, the candied lemon suggestion is excellent.

        1. re: foxy fairy

          Id be leery about swapping out the milk for lemon juice because you would drastically
          alter the PH of the recipe, unless you is willing to change the leavening amounts. Id add 2-3 Tsp of finely chopped lemon zest. You could also add 1 tsp of lemon extract.

          1. re: foxy fairy

            I add sliced lemon to sugar water, equal proportions and simmer until it's the right texture.

            As pH of lemon juice goes, it crossed my mind on adding lemon juice but I googled recipes and found quite a few that used lemon juice instead of milk.

          2. There's also lemon oil. It's very intense, and a few drops will add a lot of flavour, without adding more tartness. I always put a drop or two into sweetroll and coffeecake doughs for a hint of lemon.


            1. Hey foxy fairy. Sorry to get somewhat off-topic, but do you think blueberries would work in this? Blueberries, lemon and ricotta are such a great combo, and these muffins sound great.

              Also, if you do decide to try the milk/lemon juice substitution, you might want to add a bit of baking soda to the dry ingredients, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon. That may counteract the increased acid.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bear

                hi bear :) I did add blueberries, actually! See at the end of my post above... they are magnificent in the muffins, definitely. I just want to play up the lemon flavor because the blueberries are quite powerful.

                I know absolutely nothing about baking soda and baking powder and what they do. I just blindly follow recipes when it comes to that stuff. So thanks for your tip on adding the soda if I go for the milk/lemon juice combination. I'm going to play around with this recipe until I up the lemony factor. Why not, right?

                1. re: foxy fairy

                  Oops, my ADHD must be kicking in...sorry about that! I'm looking forward to making these. They sound great. Taking your cue, I might add a bit more lemon zest to start, and maybe do the lemon juice/baking soda substitution.

                  Let us know how you make out, and I'll do the same!

                  1. re: bear

                    bear -- did you try the muffins? I would really like to hear how they turned out. I am going to make another batch. I would like some with chai or tea on a drizzly New England spring day like today.

                    Trying to post the photo although I've been having trouble with that lately. Aren't these pale and adorable? So cute!

                    I can't get the photo to post! Grrrr!

              2. The most strongly lemon flavoured cake I've made has been the cook's Illustrated Lemon Bundt Cake. It calls for lemon zest, but minced and then softened in lemon juice.

                If you look at that recipe it might give some good tips to use in your muffins. It also calls for a glaze that would be good on muffins to add extra lemon flavour.