They are real muffins, not cake disguised as muffins the way most modern muffins are. Hearty and rich, they’re like biscuits, but a touch sweeter, fluffier, and a little bit crumbly. They are undoubtedly the best muffins I’ve ever had. Andthey even fit in my shirt pocket, making them perfect for morning walks with Gauge or fall trips out on the canoe.
This is an old Hancock Shaker recipe that my wife got from a friend. Though most recipes are made yummier by titivating, there is no need to meddle with Shaker simplicity.
Step One: Shaker Convenience Mix
Convenience mix was made ahead and stored in cool, dark cellars. Being the basis for biscuits, muffins, and pancakes, it was wise to keep on hand the first step in the process.
9 cups sifted white flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups lard (shortening)
Combine dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Keeps for up to two months in the fridge. Make 1/3 recipe if you're only making muffins. But what's the fun in that?
Step Two: Muffins
3 cups convenience mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
Some sort of yummy jam or jelly (Skip the corn syrup crap if you can. It makes a big difference).
Mix thoroughly and fill muffin pan 2/3 full. Add a spoonful of jam on top of muffin mix. Finish filling muffin pan with remaining mix. (It’s fine to leave some jam exposed. Either way). Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. And be careful, the jam is wicked hot when the muffins come out of the oven.