Sunday, June 28, 2009

The "Jordan Marsh" Vegan Blueberry Muffin

Today is a very special day. It's my friend Sarah's birthday! She and her hubby are tromping through that other "Portland" (the Oregon one) and probably passing out in ecstasy at the vegan mini-mall there as I type. Aside from being a just amazing friend and super duper meteorologist (hurricane force winds? getting knocked over by a 10 foot wave? No problemo for this girl..she's up for it), she's also quite the vegan baker. So when she said she had a vegan blueberry muffin recipe, I knew it was going to be good.

I've affectionately called these "Jordan Marsh" blueberry muffins but technically they are not. Bear with me for a little Boston history. Jordan Marsh was a Boston-based department store chain that closed down a few years ago along with Filene's, our other well known local department store. Jordan Marsh and Filene's will always remind me of the "old" Boston that I used to know when I was a kid. My mom use to schlep me and my two sisters via Volvo station wagon two hours from New Hampshire to hang out in "the big city." Those Boston trips were the highlights of my childhood. I will always remember them with a smile. Boston was quite different back in the 80s compared to today. It's downright cosmopolitan now in some ways. Not that anything is wrong with that but strolling thorough town you can see the chains and brands that you can see in well, just about any other American city. Some of Boston's specialness has been lost unfortunately in this cosmo boom. Was it the big shoulder pads and big hair of the late 80s that made people think everything had to be big, that local was yokel? I have no idea but by the time I started college in Boston in 1990, the old Boston that I loved from my childhood was quickly slipping away. Boston is a very historic town so you may not realize how much has changed if you visit but for locals or even New Englanders, we notice..sigh..the price of progress. If you're interested in the whole story about the Jordan Marsh muffin, you can check it out here.

But we have our memories/muffins luckily! I grew up with my mom remembering from her college days those "Jordan Marsh" muffins that were sold at the namesake department store and well loved by Bostonians near and far. I can't tell you for sure if I ever had one myself but when I think of the gold standard of blueberry muffins, I always think "Jordan Marsh." It seems that I'm not the only one because there are a slew of variations of this muffin recipe on the web and all claim it's the best. However, they simply cannot be for one reason..they're NOT vegan!
So I christen these blueberry bundles of joy, the Jordan Marsh Vegan Blueberry Muffin!

Sprinkled with vanilla sugar on top (do you make vanilla sugar? I noticed that in Germany you can buy pre-made vanilla appears to be big in our German cookbooks but I rarely see it here in the US. So I just chop a vanilla bean in a few pieces and put it into a small locking jar with some sugar.)

Sift: 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt
In a bowl mix: the equivalent of two eggs, 2/3 cup "milk", 1/3 cup canola oil

Mix the wet into the dry ingredients until most lumps but not all are mixed.
Add 1 cup blueberries

Scoop into muffin tin, greased or lined and sprinkle sugar on top before baking (I used vanilla sugar..yum!)

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes when tops are golden brown.

The final product below..on my squirrel plate..H has the "lucky duck" variation. I spread some of my blueberry lemon jam from last year on top..yum. For whatever crazy reason I feel that I should hurry up with my current jam since it's pretty much jam season AGAIN. So we're eating a lot of jam lately from last year's batch (plum, blueberry lemon and strawberry..hoping to branch out and try some new flavors this year).

And of course, because I can't help myself, look at these sleepy Goos! Ohhhhh...believe me, they are as cute in person..can't stand the cuteness sometimes.

I'll be back soon with ice cream posts, vegan almond cheese and jammin'..later!


Jes said...

Now you just need a picture of a yawning goo and then I'll squeal myself to death. Too. darn. cute!

Those muffins look so blueberry oozy good!

For the Love of Guava said...

oh yum... i wonder if my blueberries are still okay from last week... eck... i'll be pretty heartbroken if they're bad after that post! And damn... I need to start learning how to do all the preservation stuff... SOOO jealous of your jam! The goo babies are of course darling as always... saw some squirrelies this weekend and thought of you (they were really skinny sort of half goo/half squirrel looking)..

oh yeah... I blame shoulder pads as well. :)

Sarah said...

Thank you for the birthday smiles! I've been missing you out here and taking lots of vegan notes and pictures for you, can't wait to share. The Goos look so happy and content!

Anonymous said...

Oh the Goos...I just melt into a puddle when I see them. Vanilla sugar is used a lot in Europe in general I think - here too. I honestly don't buy it much, though, just add a little extra vanilla. It smells yummy, though.
And Guppy officially LOVES you because I've made 2 ice creams now - I found a little maker for 15E and it actually works! I'll blog about it soon. Thanks again!

Mihl said...

Your Boston observations were really interesting. It's funny how places can change. Those muffins look fantastic and how great you used vanilla sugar. Funny thing boyfried gave me a jar of super expensive vanilla sugar with tahiti vanilla today. Usually people (me) only use the vanillin stuff. I also started to make my own sugar now.