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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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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).
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.)
Don’t over mix the batter, otherwise it will yield a tough muffin.
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.
Generously coat the top of each filled muffin cup with sugar.
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.
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!
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven.
- 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.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening for one minute with the paddle attachment.
- Add sugar and beat on medium for about one minute.
- 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.
- Add vanilla and beat for a few more seconds to combine.
- Remove ½ cup of blueberries to a small bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher. Set aside.
- 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.
- Take two tablespoons of either flour type and sprinkle over the whole blueberries and toss to coat.
- Mix both flours, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Just stir a few times to mix.
- 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.
- Remove the mixing bowl to your counter and fold in the mashed blueberries. Then fold in the whole berries with the juice.
- The traditional Jordan Marsh blueberry had a purple/blue tint from the berry juice.
- 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.
- Sprinkle the final granulated sugar over the tops of each muffin (total 2 tablespoons) and immediately place in the oven.
- 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.)
- Remove to a rack to cool.
- Once cool, gently pry the muffins out by making sure the overhang did not stick to the pan top.
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