Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Muffins, gluten-free from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:  

Whenever I travel, I need to take gluten-free items with me. I simply can't be sure what might be offered at a hotel or a banquet, etc. 

So before I went to Malice Domestic conference 2 weeks ago, I made these delicious gluten-free muffins that travel especially well!

As you all know, I love cookbooks, which is why I write about a culinary bookshop in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries.  My husband bought THE HOW CAN IT BE GLUTEN FREE COOKBOOK, from America's test kitchen, and he spent numerous hours reading aloud from it, with tips and such that the chefs offer.  Substitute this; make sure you do that.

Chuck was really into helping me find good recipes! He cared about my health.

Riffing off the cookbook's recipe for cranberry-orange-pecan gluten-free muffins, I came up with this lemon ricotta poppyseed muffin. 

I know...I know... Why did I do that?  Well, Whole Foods has a great frozen lemon poppyseed gluten-free muffin. I wanted to try to duplicate it. But I wanted to get it right. How did I do it?  Well, I thought I'd swap out the lemon for orange and the poppyseed for whatever.  I studied the recipe and decided the "base" was the best combo I'd found.

And it worked!  The trick about freezing the muffins after they are individually wrapped is a real winner!  These little goodies freeze well and reheat in the microwave in about 20 seconds as if they were warm from the oven.


PS  I just did a signing at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego and I signed a dozen trade paperback copies of GIRL ON THE RUN, if you're interested in having a copy, contact the store or go to their website: * Telephone: 858.268.4747

PSS  I think I told you all, but if you want the list of cookbooks referenced in my Cookbook Nook series, you'll find them on my website: HERE Scroll to the bottom or click on "other resources".

Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Muffins

sort of based on a recipe from The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook

Recipe for Cranberry-Orange Pecan muffins and tweaked A LOT!

But I learned what they needed from the muffin requirements to make it hold up.

I swapped out cranberries and pecans and orange zest and the whole-milk yogurt, but tried to substitute similar things.

This turned out like a muffin “scone,” which I really liked, but the cranberries probably added the itsy bit of moisture that these lacked.

Makes 12

¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 ¾ cups sweet rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
¼ cup quinoa flour (which I substituted for the ground pecans in their recipe, since I’m allergic to nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 – 2 tablespoons poppy seeds to your liking (1 worked fine for me)
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
4 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar, if your pantry isn’t that extensive)

Pulse the sugar, zest, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, and quinoa flour  (or your own mixture that totals 2 2/3 cups), plus baking powder, xanthan gum, and poppy seeds in the food processor.

In a  separate bowl, blend the butter, lemon juice, ricotta cheese, and eggs. Add to the food processor and blend well for one minute.

Turn mixture into the bowl used to blend the butter and let sit, covered, for 20-30 minutes.  No longer.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Yes, 400! And move rack into the middle of the oven.

Spray a muffin pan with vegetable oil and fill each muffin cup 2/3 full.  [My recipe yielded 13 muffins – go figure!]   Sprinkle each muffin with ¼ teaspoon sugar.

Bake muffins for 16-20 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the baking time. They’re done with the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

**Here’s what works.

The extra eggs are required for this much flour. They give the mixture texture and structure. The ricotta added moisture. Milk would be fine, but it’s the denseness of the cheese that seems to help.

Using a food processor so all the ingredients get really well mixed together. The binders for gluten-free things can keep separate and make muffins glue-y if not incorporated well.

Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes after mixing so all the binders can incorporate. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN TYPICAL BAKING.

Eat the muffins right away, the first day or even the second day. If not eating, wrap individually in plastic wrap and put in a freezer storage bag and freeze.  They can be frozen for a few weeks. To defrost, microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on medium high, then reheat in oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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  1. Thanks for the recipe. I love both series, the Cheese Shop Mystery and the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. I am looking forward to reading Girl on the Run.

  2. These muffins look amazing and I love all your gluten-free recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great suggestions on how to adapt a recipe, Daryl.

  4. Hi Daryl! I don't travel as much as you do, but when I do I try to make sure I have enough "healthy"snacks for the duration of my trip so that I don't rely solely on food I have to purchase while I'm away from home, because I like to make sure I have control over the ingredients I feed my body with as much as possible, and I completely understand baking your yummy muffins to take with you. The recipe sounds yummy, and I will be baking these, as well as the original cranberry-orange pecan versions. I love muffins of all types and most of the time I'll bake a couple dozen and freeze them in batches of 6 or so to pull out weekly. Thanks for sharing! Nicole :-)

  5. These look really, really good!