Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins {for Stemilt Growers}

We enjoy a good cup of Jo. And like many Pacific Northwesterners, have become just a bit uppity about our grind. Like a good wine, what’s tasty to one may be too bitter or bland for another. Finding that perfect blend when in our own home or neck of the woods has never really been a challenge. Traveling about, however, the task of uncovering a perfect pour requires some planning and forethought... easily done with a little Google search. Or, if we are either north or south in Seattle or San Francisco, respectively, we simply enlist our offspring who have, to our benefit, acquired this same gene.

Having our coffee strategy clearly defined when leaving known territory is a comfort only those who share this mindset (affliction) can understand. For us, the only uncertainty that remains is what to have alongside. Oftentimes it’s nothing, due to lack of hunger... but more often than not it’s simply due to the slim pickings many coffee-centric enclaves offer with respect to baked goods. Though we often just make do with what is available, a summer trek up to Seattle uncovered not only a superb blend but also a more than tasty baked treat at Ballard Coffee Works. This cozy nook hugs the corner of Market and 22nd in the lovely little neighborhood of Ballard, just northwest of downtown Seattle, and a skip and a jump from Ballard Avenue, a quaint stretch of restaurants and boutiques that begs to be strolled. It was here that we had (and continue to enjoy on each of our northern excursions) a great cup of Jo... and a delightful Morning Glory muffin. Each time we visit I look forward to this muffin as much I do to the coffee... and that’s saying something. As such, our visits have been as much about enjoyment as they have about research... determining what makes this muffin so good.

It’s the crumb. It’s perfectly moist, subtly sweet, dotted with just the right mix of fruit and nuts, laced with a hint of warm flavor, and capped with a top that is just ever so lightly crisp without compromising texture. Thinking of this muffin and how best to create my version made me think of Stemilt’s wide array of perfect baking apples... Sweet Tango, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith. Freshly grated apple, along with grated carrot, creates that subtle sweet flavor that makes the Morning Glory muffin so satisfying. It’s pleasingly sweet, not dessert-like. And, of course, fresh apple contributes greatly to this muffin’s moist, delicious crumb. It’s a muffin that has earned its name... glorious... any time of day.

For recipe details on my version of this favorite, visit Stemilt’s blog, The Stem.

Disclaimer: While I have been compensated by Stemilt Growers for this recipe development project, including photography, the opinions expressed on A Savory Nest are my own. Recipes and all images are the sole property of Stemilt Growers.

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