Jordan Marsh was a Boston-based department store founded in 1841 by Eben Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh. With the rise of retail conglomerates, Jordan Marsh became part of Allied Stores (1931) and then Federated Department Stores (1988), a move that renamed all stores, including the flagship store in Boston's Downtown Crossing shopping district (pictured at left), Macy's.
The Jordan Marsh flagship store was home to the legendary Enchanted Village, an elaborate holiday display which, at times, spanned entire floor of the store in addition to its windows.
Perhaps even more legendary was Jordan Marsh's bakeries. Infamous, however, were the blueberry muffins.
A December 2004 Boston Globe article put it best: "For decades, any decent downtown shopping trip ended at Jordan Marsh, where the promise of a sugar-crusted blueberry muffin could make annoying children angelic."
Manning the ovens was John Pupek, who made the muffins by hand, one batch at a time. In the 1990's, when Jordan Marsh was no more, Pupek opened the Jordan Marsh Muffin Company in Brockton to fulfill the cravings of blueberry-muffin hungry Bostonians. He did so until closing up shop on Christmas Eve 2004.
Pupek may not be baking Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins any longer, but the recipe lives on.
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and cups sugar until light and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Crush 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whole berries.
Grease 12 large muffin cups, including the surface of the tin (alternative: grease surface of tin and line tin with paper liners). Fill generously with batter. Sprinkle sugar over the tops of the muffins, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool 30 minutes before removing. Store, uncovered, because the muffins are so moist.
Yield: 12 muffins.Recipe Notes:
I've seen versions of this recipe that call for different baking methods: 375 for 30 minutes, 450 for 5 minutes and then an additional 30 to 35 minutes at 375, etc. These variations have yet to be tested in my kitchen (give me time, I've got plenty of blueberries left).
Depending on how sweet your blueberries are, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in the batter to one cup. When it comes to sprinkling sugar on top of the muffins, be creative! I used vanilla sugar and raw sugar on mine, but good old granulated sugar works just fine.
If your berries are particularly large, consider mashing up more than 1/2 cup. I'll likely do this the next time, since the whole berries can take over the batter and cause the muffins to fall after baking.
I came across a recipe that includes 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla, something that deviates from the original. Go for it, if it strikes your fancy. I prefer sans-vanilla.
For extra large muffins, chill the batter in the fridge for about 15 minutes before scooping into large muffin tins.