We love trying old fashioned and pioneer recipes and this from scratch blueberry dessert was pretty dang good! The cake was barely sweet like a lot of vintage desserts and the sweetness of the berries really stood out. I used frozen berries, but fresh blueberries can also be used.
This dessert was mixed the old fashioned way, with a wooden spoon.
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
2 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. milk
Mix well. The batter will be really thick. Pour into a greased, square baking pan. Sprinkle 2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries over the batter.
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
Sprinkle over the top and bake at 350 for 1 hr-1 hr 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This batter is really thick and it took the full baking time for it to be done. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
I've always wondered about the ingredient "shortening" in pioneer recipes and other recipes from the 1800s. I couldn't imagine that shortening as we have it would have been used. Lard or butter would be more likely seeing as how pioneers didn't exactly have the ability to extract shortening or oil from vegetables. Being the pioneer geek I am, I did a little research on the subject.
Up until the 1930s, "shortening" in recipes just referred to something to add fat to a recipe, not the actual shortening products we have today. Lard, butter or grease would have been used. In 1931 products sold in stores similar to what we use as shortening were called, "shortenings other than lard". Later the name was shortened to "shortening". There you have it! A useless but interesting baking fact.