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The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

There’s a saying that goes, “God is in the details.” Meaning – when attention is paid to small details, it yields great rewards. Such is the case with today’s recipe for The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins!

Jordan Marsh Company was a New England-based department store with its flagship store located in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. Years ago, many Bostonians (including myself) made frequent pilgrimages to the Jordan Marsh bakery just for their legendary blueberry muffins.

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

The Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins were perfection!  A huge, sweet, tender, cake-like muffin that baked up into a perfectly domed, sugar-crusted muffin top! Inside was a generous amount of juicy blueberries – so juicy they stained the muffin batter in parts a distinctive purple-blue color.

If you search online, there are many sites that have already shared the same version of the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins recipe over the years. I’ve tried that recipe, and while the muffins were very good, they really weren’t the same as the muffins I remember eating from the Jordan Marsh bakery.

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

So I was thrilled to see a recent local Boston news reporter, Maria Stephanos, interview John Pupek – the now-retired baker who made the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins for 30 years! Maria convinced John to come out of retirement to share his secret tips and tricks for making those amazing muffins. You can see her broadcast here.

As soon as we saw this news report, I knew I wanted to try making the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins recipe again! And while Maria shares the muffin recipe, as written, it didn’t reflect all of those little details that John shared with her in the interview.  We made three different batches of muffins – listening to the video for additional secrets before we got it right!

Our written recipe below details some specifics including:

Use a blend of bread and pastry flour (we used a 50/50 mix)

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Slowly cream the sugar and shortening until lightly and fluffy.  (We settled on a mix of butter and shortening. While the recipe listed butter, if you listen to the video of the interview, John mentions “shortening” – but we felt 100% shortening didn’t have as much flavor as a butter and shortening combination).

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Use fortified eggs (we used Eggland’s Best which have more Omega-3 fatty acids than typical eggs) and add them gradually to the sugar/shortening mixture.

Mash ½ cup of the blueberries (this helps gives the muffins their distinctive color as well as additional moisture).

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Coat the remaining blueberries with some of the flour mixture before stirring them into the batter. (In watching the video, we were certain that they used frozen blueberries rather than fresh blueberries based on the amount of juices in the bowl.)

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Don’t over mix the batter, otherwise it will yield a tough muffin.

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Generously grease the muffin pans with shortening – including the top of the pan. We also recommend using paper liners – the two batches we attempted without liners stuck to the pan. Then fill the muffin cups with a heaping amount of batter.

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

Generously coat the top of each filled muffin cup with sugar.

The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe - A Family Feast

And this is one of our tips: To get that wonderful domed top – start with a very hot oven, then reduce to a lower temperature after baking for five minutes.

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

After following the tips and tricks from the news broadcast – and some trial and error of our own at home – we think these make-at-home Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are very close to the real deal!  Enjoy!

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The Real Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Recipe

5 from 1 reviews

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 whole fortified eggs such as Eggland’s Best
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 cup white pastry flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for tops

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Spray the inside of a 12 cup muffin tin with pan spray (You will only be using 10 of the 12). Then, using vegetable shortening, liberally grease the top of the pan. Place muffin papers into the sprayed holes. Set the pan aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening for one minute with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add sugar and beat on medium for about one minute.
  5. With the machine on medium, add one egg at a time and blend to mix. Scrape sides then beat on medium for two and a half minutes. This is important to whip air into the batter.
  6. Add vanilla and beat for a few more seconds to combine.
  7. Remove ½ cup of blueberries to a small bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Set aside.
  8. See how much liquid the blueberries gave up. I determined that it was a bit too much and pulled ¼ cup of liquid out which I did not use in the muffins. I did leave some juice in with the blueberries however, maybe about ¼ to 1/3 cup.
  9. Take two tablespoons of either flour type and sprinkle over the whole blueberries and toss to coat.
  10. Mix both flours, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Just stir a few times to mix.
  11. Start adding the flour mixture and the milk a little at a time with the mixer running. Once they are both in, do not mix further. You want to just get them incorporated without over mixing. Otherwise the muffins will be tough.
  12. Remove the mixing bowl to your counter and fold in the mashed blueberries. Then fold in the whole berries with the juice.
  13. The traditional Jordan Marsh blueberry had a purple/blue tint from the berry juice.
  14. Using an ice-cream scoop, divide the mixture between ten cups of the prepared 12 cup muffin tin. The batter will be piled high above the rim.
  15. Sprinkle the final granulated sugar over the tops of each muffin (total 2 tablespoons) and immediately place in the oven.
  16. Bake for five minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 more minutes. (If your oven has a hot spot, rotate pan halfway through. Do not over bake. They will be soft but 25 minutes is plenty of time and they will bake a little further outside of the oven.)
  17. Remove to a rack to cool.
  18. Once cool, gently pry the muffins out by making sure the overhang did not stick to the pan top.

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Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins are legendary in the Boston area. We’re sharing the recipe today – including tips and tricks from the man who baked these muffins for 45 years.

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  1. My aunt worked at Jordan’s at the Northshore Mall for years. She gave me this recipe when I was in college, she got it from one of the girls in the bakery scaled down for a home cook – hey I loved the muffins, but I wasn’t going to make 4 dozen!. This one is the real deal!
    While JM Blueberry muffins are fantastic, my favorite was the Fruit and Nut with the cherry on the top. I haven’t been able to find a recipe for those anywhere.

    • Thanks for taking the time to write to us Debi! I have to admit, I never tried the fruit and nut muffins (because I loved the blueberry so much!) – but they sound delicious!

  2. Wow! I haven’t thought about Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins in years. What a great memory. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. I’ve been making these for years, and they are the best. It’s time for our Jersey blueberries any day now, so your tweaked recipe will come in handy.

  4. Hi Martha,

    I saw that same broadcast and had my pen ready to copy the recipe. Thanks SO much for getting all the ratios right. I have the pastry flour and always have bread flour on hand. I heard him mention shortening too but noticed the recipe stated butter. I had read in an article in the paper when John retired that they used shortening. I’ll use what you used.

    I’ve been making the other recipe that’s all over the place for years and everyone loves them-can’t wait to try this version. Hopefully soon! I remember those muffins well….my aunt and I used to take the train into Boston and we’d always come home with a half dozen.

    Thanks again!

    Carol

    • Hi Carol – Such a great memory of you and your aunt! 🙂 I suspect in a commercial kitchen they do use all shortening too (less expensive than butter) but we liked the 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening version best – but either will work. Hope you love the recipe! Marha

  5. My family loved the muffins too but my favorite Jordan Marsh bakery treats were High Hats that were basically like a chocolate cupcake with whipped cream and their fruit and nut cookies. Great memories ! Thanks.

  6. Jan DiSanto :

    Growing up north of Boston, and in my early sixties, I am very familiar with those amazing Jordan’s Blueberry Muffins. My Mother had a recipe titled Blueberry Sugar Tops, which was supposed to be “the recipe”. Mom made these many, many times, usually after we returned from a mountain climb which included picking (and eating) an incredible amount of beautiful wild blueberries. I now live in Florida, and the other day, picked about 5 pounds of blueberries. I just had to make the famous Jordan’s Blueberry Muffins. Not knowing if I had m Moms’ recipe nearby, I decided to search online and was thrilled to find the original, authentic blueberry muffin recipe. They turned out incredible, far better than I remembered! Since I was out of bread flour, and didn’t have pastry flour, I used 1 cup of AP flour and 1 cup of Cake flour (adding 2 tbls. cornstarch). So happy to have found this recipe. I know my Mom wouldn’t have minded my not using her, long time, standard Blueberry Sugar Tops Recipe.

    • Thank you so much Jan! And I’m thrilled that you were able to make those substitutions and still have delicious results! Thanks for writing to us today!

  7. Isabelle from France :

    Thank you for this muffin’s recipe .

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