Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. sugar

grated zest of 2 lemons

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c. ricotta cheese (whole or low fat)

1 large egg

1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. fresh blackberries

turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest.  Rub the lemon zest and sugar together with your fingers.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar and lemon zest mixture together until light and fluffy.  Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.  Beat in the egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill each muffin cup half way with batter.  Add three blackberries to each muffin cup.  Top the muffins with remaining batter so blackberries are covered.  Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin top.  Bake muffins for about 20 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Let muffins cool for five minutes and serve.    

Jenn's Notes: I pressed my blackberries through a fine-mesh strainer and swirled the juice into the muffins instead of adding whole berries.  I also combined some cinnamon and granulated sugar and sprinkled that over the top of each muffin instead of turbinado sugar.  You have to fill the muffin cups full in order to only get 12 muffins and not have extra.  I was worried they were going to spread a lot and get crunchy on top, but the top was my favorite part!  I am still eating these, four days later, and they still taste great!    

Adapted from: Two Peas and Their Pod as seen on A Southern Fairy Tale