Monday, March 21, 2011

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

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 Macy's.

On the first floor of the flagship store Jordan Marsh held a bakery famous for its delicious blueberry muffins. The bakery had been a vital part of the shopping experience at the store. In the early 1990s Jordan Marsh closed its bakeries followed shortly by Macy’s acquisition of the store. Since the closing, the blueberry muffins have became the focus of much lore around the Boston area. 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."

After the store's closing, former Jordan Marsh baker, John Pupek, opened the Jordan Marsh Muffin Company in Brockton, MA. Pupek’s company made thousands of blueberry muffins a week, as well as other delicacies made famous by Jordan Marsh. In 2004 he decided to close his store and hang up his apron for good. Fortunately for us, we can bake these at home.  Here is the recipe:

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups blueberries
  • sugar for tops of muffins
Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-mold regular size muffin pan with paper muffins cups.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until soft. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until light and fluffy. Whisk the flour and baking powder together, and stir into the batter, alternating with the milk. Stir in the vanilla. Mix until just incorporated. 
Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Spoon batter into the 12 muffin cups.
Sprinkle sugar on the tops of the muffins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are light gold and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

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