Surprising place to find Jordan Marsh-like blueberry muffin and great cupcakes too...
I have been on a search for a good blueberry muffin on the north shore and was giving up til I found one that i am now addicted to, very close to the eluisive Jordan Marsh muffin(or at least my memory of it). Shockingly, it is to be found at a convenience store. A new chain called Bluecanoe/Iriving Oil which is in Wakefield, Salem MA, Haverhill and I believe all over NH and Maine... They are from New Brunswick and the pastries are i believe, Canadian by nature.. They do feel different that your usual local pastries.. They are baked in the stores daily and the blueberry muffin is very moist, loaded with blueberries, with crunchy sugar on top(although i would prefer the less crunchy type of sugar). They are more like a moist cake than a muffin. I choose them over DD, GIngerbread house, Kanes, etc. They also have a great cupcake. It's a coarse but moist yellow or chocolate large cupcake that tastes like childhood, with standard confectionary sugar style frosting. They are addictive too. I tried the jelly donut, which is very much like Kanes with a sugar, rather than powdered sugar topping and found it to be really light and fresh, slightly dry but in a really good way. I dont like Krispy Kreme and even DD tends to be heavy for me with too much after taste. The jelly was way to candyish and gloopy but so is Kanes.. Other pastries there look very interesting, although i have found the couple of danish type things or cinnamon pastries too sweet for me. But i can't wait to hear opinions on the blueberry and other muffins and cupcakes.
Where in Wakefield is it? It rings a bell but I can't place exactly where it is- it's a gas station, right?
The best blueberry muffin I've found around here is at Bohemian Coffeehouse in Melrose. And I'm becoming addicted to their raspberry lime rickeys although I'm not sure if it's THEIR raspberry lime rickeys or just raspberry lime rickeys in general :-)
re: Chris VR
Chris, Irving Oil/Bluecanoe is located at 448 Salem Street in Wakefield. It's right off Route 128. The gas station is open 24 hours according to their website: www.irvingoil.com/. I've been there a few times when they first opened up to buy gas. I think the gas station opened up last year. They were also having a gas war with the other 2 gas stations on Salem Street. I haven't tried their blueberry muffins yet. Next time I get gas at Irving, I will try them.
Here is the jordan marsh recipe:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 pint blueberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening and 1 cup sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and stir into egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in preheat oven for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for 30 minutes more, until golden.
I can't find my copy of the recipe, I have a handwriten copy that my mom had from a zillion years ago. But in the original, you mashed some of the berries, I think 1/2 cup and added it to the batter with the remaining whole berries. I think that's part of what made them different. And the high temp to start is what puffed them higher than normal. I used to love these muffins!
Recently made muffins using the King Arthur Baking Cookbook. I was told by my H that they were very similar to Jordan Marsh's (he is from NE). The book says they are Jordan Marsh's recipe (or like Jordan Marsh's recipe - can't remember). I also used frozen wild Maine blueberries. Have to admit, though can't compare them to JM's as I never had one, they were very, very good!
I've been in some Bluecanoe stores in NH and ME over the last few years, and their prepared foods are all surprisingly worthwhile, and I've always been really impressed with how spotless the stores were. I would actually compare them favorably to the fabled Wawa chain of the mid-Atlantic states. Wish they'd open a few stores in the city -- Hess could definitely use a kick in the pants.
Yes, the stores (and rest rooms) are extremely clean, Also, their employees are very kind and courteous. Their coffee is wonderful, too!! I have been to the Wakefield, MA and Raymond, NH ones. Be sure to get their coffee card - after 6, the seventh one is free (and they told me to get the largest size for my free one!!)
I went to Irving in Wakefield MA. last week and picked up a Kona coffee and a blueberry muffin for breakfast. The coffee was good and I also liked the blueberry muffin. The muffin was very fresh and tasty. There were plenty of blueberries in the muffin. It wasn't as good as the famous Jordan Marsh muffins but it was very good. The employees at Irving/Bluecanoe were very friendly and helpful. The store was spotless and I forgot to ask about their coffee card. Has anyone used their coffee card?
I worked at JM in the mid 80s during summers off from school. On Friday nights, I would get sent to the bakery to help stock the shelves for the Saturday rush. Sometimes, we would accidentally "drop" a muffin so it couldn't be sold. Mmmmmmm. Thanks for the recipe rizzo, I'm going to bake a batch.