Summer is a great for many reasons, not the least of which is that many foods are in season-including blueberries! This versatile fruit has been a part of American recipes since the time of the pilgrims-who were taught to gather and dry them by the Native Americans. This was a time-consuming process and before the days of canning, many cooks had to be satisfied with using the fruit in recipes during the time in which it was in season. I think we take fresh blueberries for granted now!
The blueberry muffin is arguably a staple of the American breakfast table. I find myself making a batch at least once a week. So for me, it was natural to go searching for a vintage version.
This recipe comes from the Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Volume 1, published in 1918. The cookbook was one in a series published by the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Sciences, founded in 1915 as a place to teach women the finer art of running a household!
The recipe is a pretty basic muffin mixture. Really, you could throw any old fruit in… but blueberries are the best! One side note: I tried this recipe using both butter and shortening. The shortening works better-the muffins hold together better and the muffins with butter turned brown on top while baking way before they were done in the middle.
• 3 tablespoons of fat (I used shortening)
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 cup milk
• 2 ¼ cups of flour, divided
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans or ready the paper lining cups in the muffin tins.
Cream the shortening and then add the sugar gradually. Stir in the beaten egg and milk.
Sift the dry ingredients (2 cups of the flour, the salt and baking powder) and then add that mixture to the shortening and sugar.
Place the remaining ¼ cup of flour in a medium bowl and add the blueberries, stirring until they are coated (this keeps them from dropping down to the bottom of the muffin when you put the batter into the muffin cups). Fold the blueberries gently into the batter.
Fill the muffin pans two-thirds of the way full.
Bake for 15 minutes.