Good Graham Gems Recipe

The author of 1877 Cookbook Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping included meal suggestions. A summertime breakfast meal suggestion is: fried fish; milk toast; boiled eggs; fruit; frizzled beef; Graham gems; tea; and chocolate. What a big breakfast!

The cookbook includes recipes for some of these. Today I’m sharing one for Good Graham Gems from cook Mrs. J.H.S.

If you happen to own a gem pan, bake these in it. Otherwise, a muffin pan works fine.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray cooking spray on a muffin pan or use cupcake liners.

The first ingredient is 1 cup of sour milk. To make this, stir 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of milk. Set it aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Beat 1 egg and set aside.

Melt 1 teaspoon of lard (I used shortening) and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 ½ cups Graham flour, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of salt.

Stir 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into the sour milk. Add the melted shortening and beaten egg. Stir.

Add the Graham flour mixture and stir well. It should make a stiff enough batter to drop from a spoon into the prepared muffin pan.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

These hearty gems reminded me of bran muffins. They are dense and rather plain. I put apple butter on it, which tasted delicious.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.