A muffin that calls itself a Morning Glory has, in my humble opinion, a bit to live up to. Though these muffins aren’t new to the baking scene and vary on just what gets incorporated — from a laundry list of seeds, nuts, dried fruits, etc. to just a pop of freshly grated carrot and a few spices — it wasn’t until I tasted one while visiting Seattle’s Ballard Coffee Works that I thought now that’s a glorious muffin! It was generous in size, yet extremely moist, just subtly sweet, delicately dotted with nuts and raisins, and capped with a top that had just a bit of a crisp bite. Perfection.
Though I never learned where this particular shop orders their baked goods, I did set out to create my own version. Too often these muffins tend to become far too dense, either due to overworking the batter, baking at too low a temp, or adding an over abundance of various grains, nuts, and such (good for you but sometimes compromising to a pleasing crumb). Or, they run too sweet for morning fare.
Getting that perfect balance of subtle sweetness, delicious flavor and delicate crumb is what I believe you are after if you are going to call yourself a Morning Glory.
In this delicious rendition, it all starts with a large Stemilt apple, lending that just right combo…natural sweetness and good moisture…that helps deliver the crumb you are after in these muffins. Coupled with freshly grated carrot, a good bit of sunflower seed oil, and fresh orange juice, these Morning Glory muffins deliver on all levels…perfect, subtle sweet flavor; delightful, delicate crumb; nicely balanced pops of crunch; and a cap that is dressed to give you just a bit more bite without compromising texture.
They are glorious… in the morning or otherwise.
Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins
Makes: 12 jumbo size muffins, or 18 regular size muffins
Approximate Prep Time: 1 hour (15 to 20 minutes prep, 25 to 30 minutes baking, 10 minutes cooling)
These muffins are super simple to make, made even easier with the use of a food processor to grate your apple and carrots. Though there are a few bowls, how components of this recipe are mixed and then added to other components is what helps you achieve the crumb you are after, avoiding over mixing and/or dissolving the sugar too quickly. The result is an airy, moist, subtly sweet, and delicious muffin.
- 1 large Stemilt Apple, cored (any baking variety will do – try Pinata apples that are in-season now)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled or scrubbed, ends trimmed
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose baking flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sunflower seed oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 F. Prep two, jumbo size, six cup muffin tins (or three, regular-size muffin tins) by wiping inside sides and top surface (not inside bottoms) with a cooking-oil sprayed paper towel. (This will prevent any overflow of muffin tops from sticking to pan). Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
Process cored apple and trimmed carrots in a food processor fitted with blade, until completely grated. You should end up with approximately 3 cups grated product. Transfer to a mixing bowl (bowl 1) and add chopped pecans. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl (bowl 2), soak raisins in orange juice and water for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside and continue with remaining steps.
In a separate large bowl (bowl 3), whisk flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In other bowl (bowl 4), whisk eggs and then add sunflower seed oil and vanilla extract. Mix well and then fold this mixture into flour mixture (bowl 3), until fully combined (without overworking). Set aside.
When raisins (bowl 2) are finished soaking, add them, along with soaking juice, to apple-carrot mixture (bowl 1). Mix thoroughly, with a large spoon, to combine and then fold this mixture (bowl 1) into wet-flour mixture (bowl 3), until fully combined. Again, avoid over-mixing…or your muffins will lose some of their light, moist crumb.
Generously fill each paper cup with approximately 1 ½ to 2 scoops of batter from bowl 3 (using ice cream scoop) if making jumbo size muffins; 1 scoop for regular size muffins. If desired, top with sprinkle of mixed raw sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 F for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until golden, and inserted testing toothpick removes clean. Let muffins cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information (per serving, regular-size muffins);
Per Serving: Calories 279.5 (55.7% from fat); Fat 17.3g (sat 1.9g, poly 2.2g, mono 13g); Protein 3.1g; Carbohydrates 36.2g; Fiber 2.7g; Sugar 21.2g; Cholesterol 31.0mg; Potassium 149.9mg; Sodium 196.7mg.
Categorized in: Recipes