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Letting Go | Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

12 October 2012

When you perturb a system, the outcome cannot be controlled. –Tom Balles

This summer is one I’d like to hang onto. I saw Seattle in July and the South in September. I walked the circle and met the medicine. I fed my body what it needed and knew nature in a new way. I tried saying “yes” more and “no” less. For the last summer of my twenties, it was a good one. Now, I welcome autumn’s invitation to let it go.

As the trees drop their leaves, I ask myself what else I can let go of along with the waning season. It’s time to purge my closet, to weed the garden one last time before the frost, to give up coffee (again). Most of all, it is time to renew my efforts to give up control. With all the changes that have occurred this year, I’m not entirely in control of their consequences. Sure, we make choices in life with the intention that they will have certain effects. Truly, though, we can’t see around the bend in the path, no matter how well lit the path may be. During this season, I will honor and respect the unknown and stop trying to chase it down.

Autumn is also the time for seeking out warmth. Breads are baked, squashes are roasted, meats are braised, and everything gets a bit of added warming spices. These muffins acknowledge that I’m ready to turn on the heat of my oven again and with their summer berries are my last nod to a summer that I’m willing to let go of but won’t soon forget.

Blueberry Ricotta Muffins
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 12 muffins

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1/2–2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime, finely grated
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Butter or line with parchment a 12-mold standard-size muffin pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, eggs, vanilla, and cooled melted butter.

In a larger bowl, use your hands to pinch the lime zest into the sugar until it is fragrant and begins to clump together slightly. Stir in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Quickly incorporate the ricotta mixture and then the blueberries into the dry ingredients, taking care not to over-mix.

Fill each muffin mold about 3/4 full, using your fingers to spread the thick dough evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if the uneven heat of your oven demands. Muffins are done when the tops are golden brown, with just a bit of crunch, and spring back when nudged lightly with a fingertip. Cool muffins on a rack.

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