The memorable landmark department store, Jordan Marsh, drew both city-dwellers and suburbanites to its downtown Boston location from its opening in 1841, until its closing in 1996.
Pioneering the way for future shop owners, department stores, and malls, Jordan Marsh was the first to offer consumer credit in the form of charge accounts. The department store chain also introduced the well-known mantra, "the customer is always right," as well as provide a money-back guarantee.
In addition to remarkable customer service, Jordan Marsh implemented new technology never seen before in other stores, including electric lights, telephones, elevators, and glass showcases that displayed whimsical holiday scenes and various merchandise.
When you mention Jordan Marsh to a native New Englander, those that recall visiting the iconic Washington Street location in downtown Boston, won't boast about the department store's impressive firsts. Instead, they'll fondly retell memories about the annual magical Christmas display, the Enchanted Village, and the legendary Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins that provided them with some well-needed sustenance while they shopped.
Located on the first floor of the Jordan Marsh flagship store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing was the Jordan Marsh bakery. Shoppers would make periodic pilgrimages to the store, not only to purchase clothes and various trinkets but also to pick up a white string-tied box enclosing soft, over-sized sugar-crusted blueberry muffins that were like no other.
One quote from the December 2004 Boston Globe summed up these memorable blueberry muffins perfectly: “For decades, any decent downtown shopping trip ended at Jordan Marsh, where the promise of a sugar-crusted blueberry muffin could make annoying children angelic.”
Once Jordan Marsh closed its doors in the mid-1990s, the store's famous baker and muffin man, John Pupek, continued to produce blueberry muffins in his Jordan Marsh Muffin Co. in Brockton, MA, until it closed shop on Christmas Eve in 2004.
Even though it's the end of an era for those who enjoyed this timeless delectable treat at its original locations, Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins are still available for purchase at Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, MA. Though the furniture store has no affiliation to Jordan Marsh, Eliot Tatelman, president and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture, felt it was important to keep the magic of the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins alive, along with the Christmas Enchanted Village.
The Enchanted Village is closed due to the pandemic this year, but you can still purchase the original Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins at the Avon, MA location.
If you're unable to make a special trip to Avon, MA this holiday season, prepare your own version of the legendary blueberry muffins in your kitchen with the original Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe. This homemade version of Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins is easy to follow and guaranteed to bring back beloved childhood memories.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Grease with butter, or spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Mix well.
Using a whisk, beat in the eggs one at a time.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Next, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. Stir until well blended.
In a small bowl, mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Stir the mashed blueberries into the batter. Next, fold the remaining whole blueberries into the batter.
Using a spoon, divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the muffins to rest in the muffin tins before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.