Ah summer.... In my part of the world (West Coast Canada) that means BLACKBERRIES and there is nothing better than a dessert made from fresh blackberries - mmmmmm!!! Now I'm a crumble fan. Always have been. Since moving to Canada I've read articles on how there are a whole range of these delicious desserts - crumbles, cobblers, crisps and grunts. I'd never heard of a grunt before so I decided to investigate further!
A quick Google search told me that a grunt is different from the other desserts mentioned in that it is cooked on the stove top. Intrigued, I found a recipe and tried it out. The recipe that follows is my version! It is gluten free, and made with organic ingredients. The blackberries are wild and fresh - while they are not certified organic they certainly fit the bill!
Read on to become a grunt covert!
Note: My gluten free option makes smaller dumplings (but oh so delicious!) than its gluten inclusive brother - you may want to double the dumpling ingredients if you are a lover of dumplings!
Step 1: What You Need
Blackberries - about 4 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Flour - 3/4 cup. I used an organic blend of rice/potato/pea/tapioca
Baking powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Milk - 1/3 cup
Water - 2 tablespoons
Cinnamon - 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon Juice - 2 tablespoons
Heavy bottomed straight sided pan
Step 2: Collecting Your Berries
This is the second best part of the whole process!
1. Dress appropriately - blackberries are prickly customers. you will need covered shoes, a close fitting top and perferrably jeans.
2. Gather your tools - you'll need small buckets for sure ( too big and the ones on the bottom will get squashed), gloves if you think they will help and a long arm grabber if you have one - or a stick to hook berry laden vines closer. Make sure you take water and food - berry picking can be thirsty work and you do (believe me!) get sick of blackberries....
3. Find yourself a blackberry patch - preferrably one away from roads and other people - and get to it. Gently roll the berries off with two fingers and thumb to avoid squeezing and bruising the fruit too much.
4. Try not to eat too many...
Step 3: Preparing Your Grunt Ingredients
1. Wash your berries, drain them well - make sure to get any leaves, sticks or other debris (or critters) out - and set aside.
2. Stir together 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Stand the milk till it is room temperature.
4. Melt butter and let it cool (but not solidify)
5. Whisk together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
6. Stir together milk and butter in a small bowl. Stir milk mixture into the flour mixture carefully to make a batter. Set aside.
7. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons water over the blackberries in a large bowl and fold gently together.
Step 4: Make a Grunt
1. Transfer the berry mixture to a large straight-sided frypan or skillet. I buttered mine first and had no stickage. Cover it, and bring the fruit to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Spoon dollops of batter on top of berry mixture using 2 spoons, spacing them evenly.
3. Sprinkle dumplings with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Cover and reduce to a medium heat.
4. Cook for about 15 mins until the dumplings are cooked through and juices are bubbling - don't lift the lid till then or you will let out all the steamy goodness!
Step 5: MmmMMM!!!
Serve hot or warm right out of the pan. You can top it with cream or ice cream - either was it is delicious!