No summer is complete without Blueberry Grunt. I can hear you know,“Blueberry what?” Yes I said.
Blueberry Grunt. It is a summer meal of boiled wild Blueberries and with fluffy dumplings cooked right in the sauce. This Maritime dish can be served as main meal or add some ice cream and call it a dessert.
When I moved to New Brunswick I was very sad to learn this is summer delicacy is not universal. So I made it my personal mission to convert everyone I met to Grunt enthusiasts like myself. Every summer as soon as wild blueberries are available I go to the market and buy the biggest box of berries I can carry. Then I make grunt for everyone and anyone who will try it.
Blueberry Grunt is actually quite easy to make. But the first, and most important rule, of making a perfect batch of grunt is *don't lift the cover. *Once you have placed the dumplings in the sauce to be cooked it is imperative not to lift the cover of the pot until full 15 minute cook time has passed. If you do lift the cover before then you risk two things, first your dumplings will collapse and two if there are any other grunt enthusiasts in the room they will likely unleash a wrath on you for ruining the grunt.
I have been told my great-grandfather used to stand guard by the grunt pot. Everyone who passed by was warned, “Don't lift the cover!”
If you can get your hands on some wild blueberries this summer you have to try this recipe. If you do just remember, don't lift the cover!
Recipe tip: My aunt suggests if you want to make your dumplings extra fluffy add just a little 7-up or soda to your pastry dough as you're kneading it.
4 cups (1L) wild fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp. (2mL) ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. (2mL) ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (175mL) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. (15mL) lemon juice
1/2 cup (125mL) water
2 cups (500mL) all purpose flour
4 tsp. (20mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2mL) salt
1 Tbsp. (15mL) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. (30mL) butter or shortening
In a large saucepan, heat berries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and water. Boil gently until well blended and slightly cooked down.
In a mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and add enough milk to make a soft biscuit dough. Drop by spoonfuls into hot berry sauce.
Cover tightly with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes (no peeking!). The dumplings should be puffed and well cooked through.
Transfer cooked dumplings to serving dish. Ladle sauce over top. Add ice cream is desired. Serve Hot.