Blueberry Grunt

Affectionately known as a "grunt," (yes, really), this New England dish of hot bubbling blueberries delivers a sweet surprise. Similar to some cobblers, grunt involves a juicy fruit filling topped with tender biscuit dough. Ideal for hot summer days, it's cooked in a lidded pot on the stove, the resulting steam lending extra moisture and lightness to its crown of purple/blue-rimmed biscuits.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
30 mins
Total
50 mins
Yield
one 11" grunt
Maine Blueberries and Biscuits

Instructions

  1. To make the filling: Blend the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a skillet that’s at least 11” wide and 2” to 3” tall. (A 6-quart Dutch oven also works nicely here.) Stir in the blueberries.

  2. Bring the blueberry mixture to a gentle boil over low heat. This may take 15 to 20 minutes using fresh berries.

  3. To make the dough: While the berries are cooking, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

  4. Work in the cold butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender.

  5. Quickly and gently stir in the buttermilk to make a cohesive dough.

  6. Using a tablespoon scoop or a rounded tablespoon measure, dollop the dough in small mounds over the blueberry mixture.

  7. To cook and serve: Cover and cook over low heat until the biscuits are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  8. For each serving, scoop up berries with a biscuit (or two) and invert on a plate; the berries will spill down over the biscuit. Spoon any extra cooked berries on top.

  9. Storage information: Store any leftover berries and biscuits, covered, in the refrigerator for several days; reheat before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why is this classic New England dish often called a "grunt" or "slump"? Grunts and slumps (the two names are interchangeable) are traditional desserts consisting of berries or diced fruit cooked under spoonfuls of biscuit dough. As the fruit slowly begins to bubble, its wet snufflings supposedly bear some resemblance to an animal’s grunt. When served, the dessert slumps on the plate in a sweet, juicy heap. (Really, this is much more appetizing than it sounds!)

  • If you can find small, tart, blueberries from Maine, use them to recreate a traditional rendition of this dessert — but don’t let access to fresh fruit stop you from making this recipe. It’s absolutely excellent regardless of where you get your fruit. (And yes, you can even use frozen berries in a pinch.)