Sunday, September 26, 2010

Muffins or Gems? What is the Difference?

I've always wondered what the difference was between a muffin and a gem. Gem recipes are always lumped in with the muffin recipes, and are made in muffin tins. So, what IS the difference? It's a little like Jello became synonymous with gelatin, though it was a brand name. The Gem Company made and sold kitchen equipment, including muffin tins. They were such a popular company that people started calling muffins cooked in their tins "gems". I looked through my cookbooks and found some recipes for gems to share.

Apple Gems
Modern Priscilla Cook Book, 1924

1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. molasses
1 cup milk
4 sour apples

Sift dry ingredients, add molasses and milk and beat until smooth. Peel and chop apples, adding them to batter. Put into muffin-tins and bake in a moderately hot oven. Time in oven, 25 minutes. Temperature, 375 degree F. Servings 12.

Raspberry Bran Gems
Good Housekeeping's Book of Menus,
Recipes & Household Discoveries 1926

1 cupful graham flour
1 cupful whole-wheat flour
1 cupful bran
1 teaspoonful soda
2 teaspoonfuls baking-powder
1 tablespoonful sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoonfuls cooking oil
1 teaspoonful salt
2 cupfuls sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 cupful raspberry jam

Mix all the dry ingredients together; add the oil, the egg well beaten, the sour milk, and the jam. Beat together thoroughly and pour into well-greased gem pans. Bake twenty-five minutes in a 400 degree F. oven.

Notes: You can sour milk by taking away a tsp. of milk and adding a tsp. of vinegar to the remaining milk. Let it sit a minute, stir and use. If you have non-stick coated muffin pans then just spray with cooking spray instead of greasing or buttering the pan.

Date Gems
Rumford Complete Cook Book 1934

1 cup chopped dates
2 cups flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 level teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder

Stone (pit) the dates and chop coarsely. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut the shortening into the flour, then mix in the dates and form to a stiff batter with the beaten egg and milk. Bake in hot, well-greased gem pans in a moderate oven about twenty minutes.

Note: Moderate usually means 350 degrees F.

On OFL we have muffin recipes that will be great to bake this fall.


1 comment:

  1. These look really good, I am going to have to try them.


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