Blood Orange, Cranberry & Ricotta Muffins

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photo credit: mihamatei.com

photo credit: mihamatei.com

” Do you know the land where lemons bloom and grow, where amidst the dark foliage the golden oranges glow ? “ -Goethe

Blood oranges, with their beautiful crimson colored flesh are a mutation of sweet orange and they constitute more than three-quarters of Sicily’s orange production. They are a winter fruit native to Sicily and are now grown in California and Texas as well. They get their distinctive beautiful color from Anthocyanin, a pigment usually found in red fruits and flowers.
The three most popular blood orange varieties are:

  • the Tarocco- the most flavorful and sweetest of them all, cropped from November to January
  • the Sanguinello – oval shaped with a pleasant bitter sweet taste, orange flesh and blood colored streaks, harvested from January to April
  • the Moro - crimson colored flesh with an intense sweet flavor with hints of raspberry

I came across a few Moro oranges at the supermarket on Saturday. I was initially going to pick up some blueberries for muffins but they were outrageously expensive. So I went for the blood oranges and fresh cranberries to mix in some ricotta muffins and prepare for the season.
Thanksgiving day will be upon us in the blink of an eye, and starting with dessert is always a good idea.

Blood Orange, Cranberry and Ricotta Muffins is my new holiday creation using seasonal ingredients, a great addition to the the Thanksgiving menu, next to all the pumpkin and apple pies. A super moist, fruity, citrusy, sweet and tangy muffin with extra glaze on top.
It’s official kids! The countdown to ” Thanksgiving a la Florentina ” has begun!

Cranberry Orange Ricotta Muffins

Cranberry Orange Ricotta Muffins

Blood Orange, Cranberry & Ricotta Muffins Recipe
(makes 12 )

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Mix together the above dry ingredients.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 Tbs whole milk
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • the zest from 1 orange

Mix together the above wet ingredients.

Citrus Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice -freshly squeezed
  • the zest from 1 orange

1. Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately ( reserve the cranberry sauce), then using a spatula stir the two together until incorporated. Don’t over mix.

2. Fold in the cranberry sauce, then fill 12 muffin silicone cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake @ 375″F for 20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

3. Cool in the muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

4. Whisk together the citrus glaze ingredients, remove the muffins from the silicone cups and brush them with glaze. Allow the glaze to set for a few minutes and serve. (You may go for the streusel topping if you like)

Store uncovered at room temperature.