Vintage cookbooks are the heartbeat of my kitchen. I turn to them constantly, slowly peeling the pages back, searching for inspiration, entertainment, or to dip my toe into a time I never knew. I also find wonderful surprises in them, like this recipe for blueberry muffins. Obviously, if you need a recipe for blueberry muffins, you turn to The Blueberry Hill Cookbook, published on July 6, 1959, by Elsie Masterton who, with her husband John, founded Blueberry Hill Farm in Goshen, Vermont. This is one of the best vintage cookbooks I’ve come across because it’s thoroughly tested and very personal. Her recipes come with little anecdotes of how they came to her (usually through a guest at the inn or an old friend) or why they’re her favorite. These muffins caught my eye, because humorously blackberries grew better on Blueberry Hill than blueberries, and because of the high ratio of eggs. For some reason, muffins have become like cupcakes in the past few decades, when that was never their intended purpose. Muffins are in the quickbread category, with biscuits and popovers. They balance the line of sweet and savory, and their crumb (the interior texture) is meant to be bubbly and light, rather than dense and cake-y. I love these little muffins, especially with the sour milk as a secret ingredient (Masterton insists the sour milk makes these muffin float away like untethered balloons). Enjoy!
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup sour milk (to sour your own milk, just add some lemon juice to whole milk and let it sit out for 20 minutes).
2 cups blueberries
Preheat oven at 425F (I know, it sounds crazy).
Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat eggs and drizzle in butter and milk. Combine egg mixture into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Toss blueberries in flour and fold into batter. Pour into prepared muffin tins (these muffins stick to the paper, so I’d spray or grease the paper, or go without paper wrappers and just grease the muffin tin very well), place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, turning once.