Old-fashioned Blueberry Duff

I recently came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Blueberry Duff in the February, 1919 issue of Good Housekeeping. Duffs often are steamed puddings – but this recipe is very easy to make and calls for baking the duff in the oven.

This Blueberry Duff is moist, rich, and spicy. It contains molasses, well as cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

The recipe calls for canned blueberries. I’m fascinated by what people ate during the winter months in the days before modern transportation allowed produce to be shipped thousands of miles.  In 1919, fresh blueberries, were not available; but people regularly ate canned (either home canned or commercially canned) blueberries.

Here is the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (February, 1919)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Blueberry Duff

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 15-ounce (1 pint) can of canned blueberries (DO NOT use blueberry pie filling. This recipe calls for canned blueberries.)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup barley flour

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup molasses

whipped cream, optional

Drain canned blueberries; reserve both juice and berries.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Put all-purpose flour, barley flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, molasses, and blueberry juice in a mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly combined. Stir the blueberries into the batter. Pour batter into a well-greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish; put lid on dish. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let sit for 10 minutes, then remove from dish by running a knife around the edge of the dish and inverting on a plate.

Serve either warm or cold. If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Spiced Blueberries Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Tuesday, July 28, 1914:  Nothing much these days.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an old seasonal recipe for Spiced Blueberries. They make an excellent relish to serve with pork and other meats.

Spiced Blueberries

6 pints fresh blueberries

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons whole cloves

Combine blueberries, sugar, and vinegar in 5-quart pan. Put cloves in a cheesecloth bag and add to the mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 25 minutes, or until the liquid begins to jell.*

Remove cheesecloth bag, and ladle into hot pint jars, filling to 1/8 inch of jar top. Wipe jar rim, and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes approximately 4 pints.

*The Portland Preserve website has a nice description of how to tell when the jellying point has been reached.

Blueberry Buckle (Blueberry Coffee Cake) Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, July 24, 1912: That’s all. Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This entry makes me think of the Bugs Bunny cartoon line–That’s All Folks.

Maybe I should just call it a day–but I keep thinking that something must have happened a hundred years ago today.

Blueberries are ripe, so maybe Grandma made a Blueberry Buckle. It’s an old-fashioned cake that I’ve only ever seen in Pennsylvania.  A buckle is an archaic word for a one-layer cake.

I make this recipe once or twice each summer. The smaller, tarter blueberries that we get towards the end of blueberry season are perfect for this recipe.

Blueberry Buckle (Blueberry Coffee Cake)

Cake

1/4 cup soft butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 cups washed fresh blueberries

Crumb topping

1/4 cup soft butter

1/2 sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light. Add egg and beat well. Gradually dry ingredients, alternating with milk. Beat until smooth.* Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into 8 X 8 X 2 inch pan.

Mix all of the topping ingredients to create a crumb-like mixture. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake about 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

*The batter is very thick. May need to stir by hand after dry ingredients have all been added.