Thursday, July 23

My Mom's Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin

I wanted blueberry muffins a couple of weeks ago. Not just any blueberry muffins. I wanted my mom's blueberry muffins, because I have loved them since I was a little girl. So I made a phone call:

Me: "Hi, Mom. Could I have your recipe for blueberry muffins?"

Mom: "Oh, sure, honey." (Sounds of papers shuffling.) "Here it is -- my recipe for Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins."

Me: "Nooooo. I want your recipe for blueberry muffins."

Mom: "Honey, this is my recipe. It's the one from Jordan Marsh. I have been using it for as long as I can remember."

Me: "You mean all these years that I thought I was eating your blueberry muffins, I was actually eating Jordan Marsh's muffins?"

Mom: "I'm afraid so, honey. Do you still want it?"

Me: "Well, of course I still want it. But I won't call them Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins. I'll call them My Mom's Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins."

Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin

I gotta tell ya, it wasn't easy discovering my mom's blueberry muffins were actually Jordan Marsh's, the now defunct, but once hugely popular department store. I remember shopping at Jordan Marsh with my mom when I was a kid; it was the place where we bought shoes and handbags and kitchen appliances, but not blueberry muffins. That's because they didn't sell them in Rhode Island. For the beloved Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin -- a moist, cakey, berry-studded delight with an irresistible crunchy sugar topping -- you had to go to Massachusetts.

The iconic Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin was created by baker John Pupek in 1961. Pupek took pride in his muffins, folding in the blueberries by hand and overseeing the baking of each batch. Apparently his muffins were so delicious that they transformed disagreeable children into angels. After Jordan Marsh closed in 1990, Pupek opened his own bake shop where he sold the cherished Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins as well as other sweets made famous by the store. Much to the dismay of his loyal customers, Pupek closed shop in 2004. Physically worn out, the baker needed a rest. Upon his retirement, Pupek swore to never sell the Jordan Marsh muffin name. He told the Boston Globe, ''if people said they had a Jordan Marsh muffin and it was horrible, it would kill me."

Fortunately the treasured Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe is available online and in some cookbooks, such as Nick Malgieri's How to Bake. Since we're in prime blueberry season, now is the perfect time to make a batch (or two) of these blueberry muffins. Just don't be surprised if after making them, you suddenly have a urge to toss your old blueberry muffin recipe, or to go shopping for a new pair of shoes.

My Mom's Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins
Print recipe only here.

1/2 cup 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
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sugar for blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon for blueberries

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 hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until soft. Add eggs, and mix until light and fluffy. Mix the flour and baking powder together, and stir into the batter, alternating with the milk. Stir in the vanilla. Mix until just incorporated.

This is my mom's tip, and it works beautifully: In a small bowl, sprinkle blueberries with 1 teaspoon each sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss until well coated. Fold into the batter. Spoon batter into the 12 muffin cups.

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.

You might also like these sweet blueberry treats:

Mom's Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Glaze


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look fantastic! Blueberry muffins are some of my favorite...



We Are Not Martha said...

Awww I have such good memories of Jordan Marsh! Who knew they made muffins?! I think I cried when they became Macy's. I DO NOT like change :)

The muffins look awesome!


Lisa Turner said...

I adore blueberries and am always on the lookout for new to me recipes. Thanks for sharing this Susan!

The Duo Dishes said...

Great pics! They look irresistible.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I remember JM too. We always went back to school shoping there. The muffins look great.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

What a beautiful muffin you made, I'll have to try this recipe :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Jordan Marsh, but those muffins sound good to me.

Anh said...

So lovely. And the story behind is is beautiful, too! :)

Johanna GGG said...

It is nice thought that all your family recipes have been handed down for generations but the reality is often different in my experience - but it sounds like these jordan marsh muffins have truly become part of your family history - and hope you will be enjoying them for some time to come!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

rosa-What's not to love?

wanm-We wished that store too!

lisa-I'm so glad it's new to you because it's a winner.

duodishes-Thank you so much!

lisa-Ah, yes. So did we.

helene-Please do! You'll love it.

sliceofsueshe-They are, indeed!

anh-Oh, thank you!

johanna-I know I'll be doing my part by making them and passing the recipe on to my nieces.

Jude said...

I was wondering what was up with the weird recipe title. It probably doesn't help that I have no idea who Jordan Marsh is. Great story!

ChichaJo said...

They do look like they could turn ornery kids into angels!

Anonymous said...

A classic, which can't be forgotten!

Manggy said...

Hahaha! Your mom is awesome. I didn't even know what Jordan Marsh was. Thanks for the bit of history-- I'm willing to bet these are the ones that started a nationwide trend ;)

Chibog in Chief said...

I'll be doing this for my daughter's birthday party next week!! And thanks for sharing the story :-)

Anonymous said...

I just can't get enough blueberries right now. These look great, even if I did *just* make blueberry muffins!

Hillary said...

I can't resist a blueberry muffin. Just in time for blueberry fest!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Aw, cute story! Hope you haven't been too traumatised by your mum's revelation...

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oh that's funny. I think it was my grandma's 7 layer bars that were actually from the back of the can of condensed milk. ha!

Mrs. L said...

I'm planning on buying a huge batch of blueberries at the farmers market this week so I'll have to try your Mom's recipe (since out here on the west coast I'm clueless about Jordan Marsh so your mom gets top billing with me!)

Deborah Dowd said...

I give your mom (and Jordan Marsh) props! I am making these for our upcoming Sunday brunch.

Unknown said...

This is so funny - I just made Jordan Marsh muffins last weekend! My mom and I had been talking about them and she gave me the recipe she cut out of the Providence Journal ages ago. She used to take me to JM when I was little to get these muffins! They're the best!!!

Caitlin said...

My Mom's recipe is also the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins! What a great trip down memory lane.

Mishmash ! said...

HI Susan,

Your muffin picture was so perfect and the narration was even more tempting...I had to make it and as i am typing this..we are having the very tasty, moist and dangerously addictive muffins we 've ever tasted.

Thanks a ton for sharing this..For me its Susan's Mom's Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin Recipe :)

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I never heard of Jordan Marsh till now, but I have to say all the recipes of your Mum's you have posted here look like winners.
Those muffins in the pictures look gorgeous.

Le Flâneur Novice said...

Just the name... "Blueberry Muffins"... This can make my mouth open wide!!! :)))) I love the photos btw.

And another thing... I need some votes on here till Monday :

thanks in advance!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

jude-I'm glad you liked it!

joey-I really think they would! ;)

mark-I think she's pretty awesome too. :)

dhanggit-Yay! I'm so happy to hear that!

elly-You can never have too many blueberry muffins.

hillary-Blueberry fest? Oh, yeah.

afos-I'm coping. Slowly but surely. ;)

michelle-My mom makes those too! But she calls them Hello Dollies.

MrsL-Mom gets top billing? Yay! :)

deborah-She'll be delighted to hear that. Please let me know how they turn out.

addie-They are the best! My mom probably cut hers out of the Providence Journal too!

caitlin-It's a fun trip, isn't it?

mishmash-That is the most thoughtful comment. Thank you so much, my dear! My mom is going to be tickled when she reads it.

aparna-This one's a winner too. I promise.

BBB-Oh, thanks a bunch!

Karen said...

I made these yesterday. They were delicious. But I must have gotten some gigantoid blueberries or something, because my batter overfilled the cups and then spilled over during baking, which created giant muffin tops. Since muffin tops are my abosolute favorite part of a muffin, this worked out pretty darn well for me :D

Anonymous said...

I made these Sunday morning for breakfast and they were wonderful. I'll be making them again! Thanks for the recipe. And thank your mom too. Barbara from MA

redmenace said...

Usually, when I phone my mother she has no clue where the recipe came from so it's super easy to give credit to her. Your mom might be a bit more organized. Regardless, these make my mouth water! I'm off the muffins at present, however. Gotta fit into a wedding gown!

Anonymous said...

Your post today inspired two different kinds of nostalgia in me.

The first was for the blueberry muffins and pancakes my grandfather used to make. I have his recipes, but he always shoots from the hip in the kitchen, so mine are never the same.

The second was for shopping with my grandmother at the department store that was Levy's, then Maas Brothers, then Jordan Marsh in Savannah that was torn down when Jordan Marsh closed. I loved the fluorescent lighting there and all the little soaps in the bath department.

I need to eat these muffins and reflect.

Tina Butler said...

Fantastic looking muffins. Blueberry is my sons favorite I think I will surprise him with your recipe.

Anonymous said...

Yum, remember Jordan Marsh also. How would these bake up as mini muffins?

Ann said...

Hands down the best blueberry muffins ever!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this! I have such fond memories of going to Jordan Marsh with my mom when I was a kid. I grew up in Boston and live in the Midwest now, so this evoked sweet memories for me. Now I've got to bake some muffins before fresh blueberries are all gone! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello, these sound interesting and i will give these american treats a go, however i have to point out you should write mould not mold. Don't want people thinking of the fungus when shaping the muffins, also centre not er. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I, too, remember getting muffins at Jordan Marsh department store in downtown Boston. They had texture to them, like a good muffin should. Unfortunately, many of the muffins today are like eating a cake or cupcake. Not a bad thing certainly, but muffins should have a certain texture to them and not so sweet that they could be mistaken for cake. JM muffins were wonderful. ec said...

There is an important step missing to make them the authentic Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins as sold at the store. I'm over 60 years old and grew up in Boston enjoying these wonderful muffins. I have posted the recipe with the technique of crushing some of the blueberries to give the muffins their famous purplish hue. Enjoy....

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Fran-Thanks for the *colorful* insight! I hadn't heard of that before. You're so lucky to have grown up in Boston and enjoyed them for so long. said...

Susan, I've enjoyed browsing through your recipes. Looks like we have the Italian thing in common! I've bookmarked your Nan's lentil soup. It's a bit different from my mom's which I've only recently posted myself. We Italians really love our legumes!