Fran’s Fab Blueberry Muffins

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

The other day, I saw that long-time (in real life) friend Fran posted on Facebook some blueberry muffins she’d made, using what was supposedly the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins recipe.  I’ve always been a muffin fan, and longingly remembered the first time I bit into a blueberry muffin at Jordan Marsh –muffin nirvana with a sugary crisp top – so that memory inspired me to share Fran’s recipe.

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cream the butter and 1 ¼ cups sugar until light.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.
  • Fold in the blueberries.
  • Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill with batter.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-35 minutes.  If making mini muffins, bake for 25 minutes. 
  • Remove muffins from tin and cool at least 30 minutes.  Store uncovered or the muffins will be too moist the next day – if they last that long.

I know some of you may have never heard of Jordan Marsh.  Believe me, the flagship store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing was a treasure (along with neighboring Filene’s and Filene’s Basement).  Yes, a department store with a (darn good) bakery.  And a trip to Jordan’s was never complete without a stop for a fresh-baked, popping-with-blueberries muffin, or other sweet treat. 

I can’t wait to give this recipe a try, and have already put blueberries at the top of my grocery list.  I’ll also be sure to use genuine vanilla extract.  

For those unfamiliar with the history of Jordan Marsh, Wikipedia explains, “Jordan Marsh (officially Jordan Marsh & Company) was an American department store chain that was headquartered in Boston, MA and operated throughout New England. It was founded by Eben Dyer Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh in 1841. The ownership of Jordan Marsh was transferred between several holding companies during its operation, including Hahn Department Stores in 1928, Allied Stores in 1935, and Federated Department Stores in 1988. The brand was retired, and most stores were converted into the Cincinnati-based Macy’s, in 1996.”

According to Newengland.com, “While most New Englanders have memories of shopping at Jordan Marsh, the Boston-based department store that peppered the local landscape from the 1860s to the late 1990s, it is Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins you hear about the most.

“Muffins from a department store? Actually, that’s not so unusual. Like nearly all grand department stores of the era, the Jordan Marsh flagship store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing housed an on-site cafe, or bakery, that served refreshments to shoppers. No doubt it offered up a variety of tempting, sugary treats, but a certain recipe for blueberry muffins caught on, making the bakery (and the store) famous.”

The Boston Globe was credited with posting a recipe called Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins, and it differs some from the recipe Fran used and shared.  Why not join me in trying them both?  I say if one delicious muffin recipe is good, then two is definitely better.  Who’s with me?

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • Extra sugar (for sprinkling)
  • Slide a rack in the middle of the oven. Set the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a regular muffin tin or two mini tins with paper liners.
  • In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if you have one), or use the whisk, cream the butter and sugar until light.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, until the batter is smooth.
  • Blend in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, mixing only until incorporated. Do not overmix or muffins will be tough.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Spoon or scoop the batter into the liners; if making regular-size muffins, one regular ice cream scoop makes a perfect size. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
  • Bake regular muffins for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until well-risen and golden. Bake mini muffins for 15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes, or until golden.
  • Keep muffins loosely covered at room temperature on the day they are baked.

Have a favorite muffin recipe your family enjoys?

Drop me a line and share it. I’d love to hear from you.

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