I did a bit of research for this recipe for The Blueberry Cookbook, and it ended up being inconclusive. After a few experiments, these are now my favorite blueberry muffins and I hope they will be yours, too. They’re classic New England, and now that blueberries are here in full force for the next few weeks, they will be on the menu. If they don’t disappear on day one, you can split them and toast them in the oven and then slather with butter (oink), or tuck them away in the freezer for a rainy day.
The story: Like many department stores of yore, the old Boston store Jordan Marsh had a bakery that was famous for its blueberry muffins. Thousands who remember it from the store’s glory days have hotly pursued the recipe. While many versions proliferate, we can’t be sure which one is the real Jordan Marsh muffin. I think this version comes close to the prevailing descriptions as ‘moist, sweet and cake-like’ and ‘chock-full of blueberries’ with a crunchy sugar topping. When nostalgia kicks in, it’s hard to say if memory serves us precisely. In any case, these are scrumptious.
Muffin tip: Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups. Place the batter in the cups with the rounded side up.
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups fresh, cultivated blueberries
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into thick slices
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, whisk 2 cups of the flour, salt and baking powder together until blended.
3. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute, or until creamy. Add the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the mixture is light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition and scraping down the bowl with a spatula as necessary, until they are incorporated. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
5. Remove the bowl from the stand and stir with a spatula to thoroughly mix the batter. It will be thick. Gently fold in the blueberries.
6. Using a 2 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, fill the muffins cups, rounded side up, with the batter. Sprinkle the tops with the sugar.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
8. Cool the muffins in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.