I was surprised to see a recipe using huckleberries in a Berlin Ontario cook book. I think of these as a southern berry but I’ve heard they are like blue berries and those are available locally. I picked up some nice blueberries at a small farm market so I decided to make Hot Huckleberry Cake from a recipe contributed by Mrs. McKellar. She submitted a significant number of recipes for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I measured 4 cups of flour into a bowl and added the butter and salt. Since I had salted butter I could eliminate the salt but I decided to keep it. I rubbed in the butter a method still used today for biscuits and shortbread style recipes. I added three eggs to a cup of milk and beat well. I added the milk to the flour and then added another 1/4 cup of milk. Next I mixed in the blueberries. Although the recipe suggests adding baking powder at this point I suggest making life easier by adding it when you add the salt. I greased a square cake pan and spooned in the batter. I baked it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.
I don’t have anything new to report about Mrs. McKellar. I made her cherry sauce ten days ago. Her Hot Huckleberry Cake is essentially biscuits and fruit — also known as short cake. This is a nice dessert and could be made with almost any fruit. There is no added sugar so the only sweetness comes from the blueberries. This is quite a plain dessert for Mrs. McKellar who could afford to make something a little fancier. However, we all need a simple dessert sometimes and this time travels well.
HOT HUCKLEBERRY CAKE
Rub together 1 quart of flour, 3 tablespoons of butter and 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt. Beat together 3 eggs, add 1 cup of milk and stir into the dry mixture with additional milk sufficient to make a very thick drop batter. Stir in 1 pint of huckleberries which have been picked over, washed and well drained, and 3 teaspoons of baking powder, pour into a shallow buttered pan and bake in a quick oven and serve hot with cream.