blueberry grunt

Whenever I make blueberry grunt, I think of my brother. Mostly because when we were kids we would replace the word “grunt” with an actual grunt. It was endlessly entertaining. (For us.) (Only us.)

Sweet, juicy blueberries combined with soft dumplings. If lovin’ this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Apparently, wild blueberries are the Provincial Berry of Nova Scotia (as declared by an Act of the House Assembly). And Nova Scotia is the largest producer of these little blue gems in Canada. Also, Oxford, Nova Scotia is the blueberry capital of Canada. I’m not sure who decided that, but they’ve got it scrolled across a huge sign as you enter town. Oxford hosts a lot of events that you’d probably enjoy, such as: the Wild Blueberry Bash, the Wild Blueberry Miniature Horse Show, the Wild Blueberry Amazing Race, and a Duck Race. I’m not sure how the duck race is related to blueberries, but it sounds pretty awesome.

blueberry grunt | movita beaucoup

This traditional Nova Scotian dessert is super easy to make. You drop spoonfuls of dough into an ocean of simmering blueberries, and then cover it all with a lid. And like magic, when it’s time to lift the lid, you’ve got huge dumplings to spoon out into bowls. And then you ladle the hot blueberries all over top.

Of course, when you make it at your next family event, you can laugh at everyone’s blue teeth. That’s the side effect of my prescribed dessert for you: blue teeth. But don’t tell your friends and family why you’re laughing. Not even if you know they are heading to another engagement right after yours.

. . .

Blueberry Grunt

recipe: a traditional Nova Scotian recipe, passed on to me by my mother, original source unknown and possibly lost at sea

print, make, and laugh at each other’s blue teeth

  • 1 quart of blueberries (4 cups), frozen or fresh
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cold
  • approximately 1 cup milk
  • you will need a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid

In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, bring the the blueberries, water and 1/2 cup sugar to a gentle boil and continue cooking until there is plenty of juice (several minutes).

As the blueberries are cooking, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together into a medium sized bowl. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter with two knives or a pastry cutter (until it resembles peas). Then add sufficient milk to make a soft dough – I find I usually need about 1 cup of milk. The dough should hold together but still be wet looking – softer than play dough.

Once the blueberries have become nice and juicy (and cooked down slightly), drop the dough by tablespoonfuls over the berries. Cover closely and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Do not lift the lid during the cooking time. After 15 minutes the dumplings should be poofed up and cooked through. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Note: these dumplings will not cook properly if you lift the lid during cooking – no peeking at your dumplings as they cook. In addition, some cooks feel that milk makes a dumpling tough, but Rosie and I always use milk for this recipe, and we’ve never been disappointed. 



  1. emmalina73 on August 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    This looks worth blue teeth! If I wasn’t running around doing ridiculous things like checking out farms and visiting farms and having my dog jabbed up I would totally make this. Maybe next week…or maybe I should wait until the week after when we are on holiday in Nova Scotia, home of the world’s best blueberries/duck races.

    Thanks for sharing. By the look of those pics I don’t want to be right either!

    • movitabeaucoup on August 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

      Um. Farms?

      • Emmalina on August 17, 2010 at 8:43 am

        Yep farms. Its a whole thing.

  2. Adopamop on August 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    All together now; Yay, it’s blueberry UNGH!

    • movitabeaucoup on August 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

      2.0 now insists on the grunt. Ungh!

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  4. Elsie on September 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    My mom would take a day to go berry picking with her sister(peaceful day without kids) and that night we would have blueberry grunt for supper. She didn’t use a recipe, but I’ve tried this one and it stirs up the memories, yes this is good ol grunt, NS tradition and blue lip worthy! Now when my sister comes home to NS from Saskatchewan, I can make it for her. Thanks for posting.

  5. […] – here’s one that does beautifully. […]

  6. Laura on December 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Movita: I’m new to your website. Nova Scotia gal living in Michigan. Please forgive me! Participating in a progressive dinner this Saturday and voted in for desserts. Want to make Blueberry Grunt but need to know how long after it’s cooked can it sit before eating? Thanks, Laura

    • movita beaucoup on December 10, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Hi, Laura! Blueberry Grunt is normally served immediately, but it can be re-warmed after the fact. I refrigerate my leftovers and reheat in the microwave, as it’s meant to be served hot. Hot sauce over warm dumplings? Yes, please. My mother, on the other hand, doesn’t refrigerate hers – she leaves her leftovers on the counter (as there isn’t any dairy in the sauce), and then reheats in the microwave. It’s tricky to reheat in the Dutch oven, as the dumplings won’t heat up as quickly as the sauce, and you run the risk of overcooking them. Thus the microwave is probably the best way to reheat servings. Now, if you prep all of your ingredients – have ’em all measured out and ready to go – you could make the grunt when your guests arrive. It doesn’t take long and then you’d be serving the grunt as it’s mean to be served – hot and straight from the pot!

      • Laura on December 10, 2014 at 9:14 am

        Thank you so much! Muuaaah!!

  7. movita beaucoup on May 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in August 2010. Happy baking!