Famous Department Store Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are a clone of "The Famous Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins" — which were indeed famous up until the mid-1990s, when Jordan's, one of Boston's two iconic department stores (Filene's being the other) was absorbed by Macy's and effectively disappeared.

These overstuffed muffins, with their signature sugary crown, were served in the Jordan Marsh dining room on the top floor of the store, where dedicated shoppers went to rest and compare purchases while sipping tea and enjoying a muffin — blueberry, of course.
Prep
8 mins
Bake
30 mins
Total
38 mins
Yield
12 muffins
Famous Department Store Blueberry Muffins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers, and grease the papers.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
  4. Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  6. Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.
  7. Scoop the batter by the heaping 1/4-cupful into the prepared muffin pan; a muffin scoop works well here.
  8. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired. It's traditional — go for it!
  9. Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until they're light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.
  11. Yield: 12 muffins.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Can you use coarse white sparkling sugar instead of granulated sugar on top of the muffins? Sure; but they won't be "true" Jordan Marsh muffins.
  • If you use frozen berries, don't crush any of them. Rinse several times in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels before using; this will help prevent the muffins from baking up blue-green.
  • Room-temperature butter is easier to work with than ice-cold butter when preparing muffin batter. If possible, remove butter from the fridge an hour or so before starting the recipe.