Elaine Lowell’s Blueberry Muffins


Kids, grandkids, third cousins, old neighbors from forty years ago, new friends—all descend on us in summer and, in between running towels through the wash, you might want to make blueberry muffins for their breakfast, or just for instance. After all, along with lobsters, blueberries are our other famous local fare, and this is high blueberry season. (The great Blueberry Festival is on this weekend in Machias, by the way.)

Elaine Lowell of Prospect Harbor sent me this charming recipe a couple or three years ago, and I tucked it away, intending to give it a try. Truthfully, I have to admit to being a lousy muffin baker. So even if a recipe sounds simple, whipping up a batch sometimes seems a tad daunting. I should just get over it, especially now that I have Elaine’s muffin recipe which goes together like a breeze.

I like these muffins because they are not too sweet. Elaine recommended sprinkling sugar on top but I forgot to do that. It would be a good addition, give a little crunch, and maybe satisfy a sweet tooth as well. I also like the business of adding berries to the flour mixture before adding the milk, oil, and egg. (Melted butter would be very tasty, but vegetable oil works just as well.) And I managed to do exactly as Elaine directed: I mixed it all together with a fork. She wrote, “Stir gently with a fork, just until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy.” It was, and it came out beautifully. Elaine gets eighteen muffins using her pans; I managed to produce fourteen which was plenty to pass around to the fellows rebuilding my porch, and a couple other hungry types that lurk around the house.

P.S. Many thanks for the interesting recipes you have sent using vegetables in baked goods. I have a lovely bunch of recipes to try out, and will share them here anon.

Elaine Lowell's Blueberry Muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Sugar for sprinkling, if desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin tins or line with paper baking cups.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  4. Stir the blueberries into the flour mixture.
  5. Combine milk, oil, and egg and beat with a fork to mix.
  6. Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour milk mixture all at once.
  7. Stir gently with a fork or spoon just until the dry ingredients are all moistened.
  8. Distribute batter among the muffin tins and sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar if desired
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.