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Blackberry Grunt

Ben Fink

Servings: six.

This old-fashioned dessert is essentially a stovetop cobbler; it’s called a grunt supposedly because of the sound the berries make as they simmer. You can substitute blueberries for the blackberries if you like.


For the berries:

  • 6 cups blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest

For the dumpling dough:

  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk; more as needed
  • 1 Tbs. sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream for garnish (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 45
  • Fat (g): 5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 90
  • Carbohydrates (g): 67
  • Fiber (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 4


  • In a deep 10-inch skillet that has a tight-fitting lid, combine the berries, sugar, water, and zest.
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Add enough of the buttermilk to form a soft, sticky dough that’s slightly wetter than a biscuit dough.
  • Meanwhile, bring the berry mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring once or twice. Reduce to a simmer and, using a soupspoon, spoon the dough over the fruit, creating about 8 small dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover the skillet tightly with the lid or foil and steam over medium-low heat, without uncovering, until the dumplings are set and the surface is dry when touched with a fingertip, about 15 minutes (If you’re not sure if the dumplings are done, you can gently break one open with a fork.) Try not to remove the lid (which would let steam escape) before 15 minutes, and if the dumplings need further cooking, quickly return the lid. Serve immediately, spooning the warm grunt (it will be fairly liquid) into small bowls. Garnish with vanilla ice cream, if you like.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-328110 | 05/04/2020

    This recipe was very disappointing. The biscuits were unpalatable. A waste of ingredients.

  • ddavis3 | 06/27/2011

    This was great - quick to come together and delicious! I will be making again and again as I have lots of blackberries to use. Easy dessert and good enough for company.

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