n. — predominantly Atlantic Canada, Food
a dessert of stewed blueberries or other fruit topped with dumplings (see Image 1).
Type: 2. Preservation — The origins of blueberry grunt are contested. However, the term refers to a dessert that appears to have been enjoyed for a long time in the Maritimes (see the 1997 quotation) and in adjacent American states. According to Casselman (1998: 58), the name seems "to have been borrowed or brought up to Canada by Loyalists from New England". The term seems to have spread westward to Saskatchewan from the Maritimes (see Chart 1). Blueberry grunt is of higher frequency in Canada than elsewhere (see Chart 2).
See also ITP Nelson, s.v. "grunt", which is marked "Atlantic Canada & New England", and DARE, which is marked as "chiefly NEng" and DPEIE, which marks the term as "Maritimes and New England".
See also: butter tart blueberry buckle
- 1956  We had fish cooked in a way that I hadn't eaten before, and for dessert we had "blueberry grunt;" the name, I admit, is a bit peculiar, and may not seem too appetizing. But once having it, you'll love it. It's a sweet pastry, and the pie must be at least three inches deep, and the pastry being much thicker than the ordinary pastry pie, this is filled with blueberries, and served with fresh cream!
- 1973  Generations of Nova Scotians have enjoyed Blueberry Grunt, which in some parts is known as Blueberry Slump. In Newfoundland, however, they have an equally good Blueberry Pudding, called "John Casey" which is served with molasses 'candy' or sauce.
- 1988  As in other communities, fruits of the season find their way to Halifax tables. A popular east coast treat, with an unusual name, is blueberry grunt. The grunt sound comes as the berries slowly bubble on the stove. Dumplings are added to make this dessert. You can tell tasters by their purple-stained teeth and tongues.
- 1997  Then it was back home for the treat of all summer treats -- Blueberry Grunt. (Oh yes, the
name would set us off every time, spluttering and tittering behind our hands at the
irresistible naughtiness of it all.) Blueberry Grunt is an old Nova Scotia recipe sometimes
referred to as "slump" or "fungy" and combines stewed fruit -- sometimes strawberries or
rhubarb but most often blueberries
-- with dumplings on top.
- 2001  My kids especially loved blueberry grunt. Fluffy white dumplings smothered in bubbling blue ambrosia. You've never eaten it? We've gotta fix that, eh? Like Grandma, my recipes are in my head and I'm taking them with me so this is all you're gonna get, maybe. Take a good-sized heavy pot with lid, a quart or so of berries, sugar to taste, salt and water. Bring all to a boil while you make your favourite dumplings. Cook on moderate heat to boiling, add dumplings, cover and do not open 10-12 minutes. Cool. Serve.
- 2008  Blueberry Grunt
4 cups blueberries 1 l
tsp nutmeg 2 ml
tsp cinnamon 2 ml
cup sugar 175 ml
1 tbsp lemon juice 15 ml
cup water 125 ml
2 cups flour 500 ml
4 tsp baking powder 20 ml
tsp salt 2 ml
1 tbsp sugar 15 ml
2 tbsp butter or shortening 30 ml
Heat berries, spices, sugar, lemon juice and water in a skillet; boil gently until well blended and slightly cooked down. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl. 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 dishes. Ladle sauce over top; serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2013  This winter crisp was inspired by a recipe for an apple-blueberry "grunt" from in an old Revolutionary War cookbook. Dr. Joseph D'Amore, a former chef and avid cookbook collector, changed it to pears and ginger, and now it's his children's favourite.