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These little muffins are like a bite of winter sunshine

Recipe: Grapefruit-raisin muffins taste, smell very citrusy

Muffins on a blue plate
These little muffins are easy to make and smell
very zesty. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Grapefruit takes up to a year to mature on the tree. That makes every grapefruit on my little super-dwarf grapefruit tree precious – I’ve been watching that fruit develop for months!

The variety is Cocktail, a cross between a mandarin and a pomelo that’s also nicknamed Mandelo. The zest is never bitter, which makes it ideal for this muffin recipe.

This easy recipe uses the zest, juice and fruit of a grapefruit. The result smells just as zesty as it tastes, like a bite of winter sunshine. If you love grapefruit, you’ll enjoy these not-too-sweet breakfast treats.

Grapefruit-raisin muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit

4 tablespoons butter (½ stick), at room temperature

½ cup raisins

1 large egg

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Grapefruit halves
This grapefruit is the start of something delicious.

½ teaspoon salt

Butter or shortening to grease muffin tin or silicon baking cups

Demerara or white sugar for dusting

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

With a zester, remove the zest from about one quarter of the grapefruit. Scrape off any white pith; set zest aside. Juice one half of the grapefruit. Roughly chop the fruit of the other half.

In a food processor, place the room-temperature butter, raisins and zest. Process until raisins are chopped. Add the grapefruit, juice and egg; process until blended.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in butter-raisin-grapefruit mix. With a wooden spoon, stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not over-mix.

Prepare muffin tin. Grease cups or use silicone liners. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups. Sprinkle tops with Demerara or white sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Serve warm.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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