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