Spring is the time of plans and projects
It’s finally March! For us that means there are warmer, brighter, lovelier days ahead. And astronomically speaking, the beginning of Spring on 20 March. Thanks to a couple of unseasonably warm days earlier in the week, our Spring bulbs have made their move from their winter hiding places under the soil, straight up into the light above. The daffodils are flowering in our window boxes, ushering in the new season with their tall stems and smiley faces.
Throughout March, according to my copy of Food For Free, we’ll be foraging for hop shoots, jack-by-the-hedge, morel, nettle, sweet violet and velvet shank. I’m looking forward to making nettle pesto, and bright green nettle pasta. I’m also hoping the tiny sweet violet plants in our courtyard and the hedgerows around Segur will flower, so that I can perhaps make some crystallised sweet violet flowers, as featured here. So pretty, and oh so fancy!
But as well as foraging, March is the time to begin planting seedlings inside. At our house we’re focusing on stripy heirloom beets, basil, and red and yellow cherry tomatoes. In homage to the season ahead, and the bright light and excitement it brings, I made these lemon and ricotta muffins. The citrus zing and their yellowy colour reminds me of all the things I love about this time of year. I hope you like them. Here’s the recipe:
(Makes 12 muffins)
2 cups plain flour
½ cup raw cane sugar
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
Zest of 2 large lemons
2 tea spoons baking powder
Two spoons fine white sugar (for sprinkling on top of the muffins)
½ tea spoon salt
Step One: Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease the muffin tin.
Step Two: Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cane sugar, baking powder and salt) in a large bowl.
Step Three: Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the ricotta, milk, melted butter, eggs and most of the lemon zest (holding some back to top the muffins).
Step Four: In the large bowl, make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Stir gently until mixed. Pour the ingredients into the muffin tray.
Step Five: Top each muffin with fine sugar and lemon zest. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When the muffins are done, the tops will be golden. Dip a fork in to one muffin to check. If it come comes out clean the muffins are cooked.
Et voila, enjoy with tea in the sunshine!