Blueberry grunt can be made over an open fire or barbecue; that’s how it was born. At home, it can be cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. When cooked on the stovetop, the “biscuit” topping is more steamed and dumpling-like; in the oven, the tops will brown. Some cooks swear by a combined approach of mostly stovetop, finished in the oven for browning the biscuits, and that’s what we’ve done here. About that curious name: Listen for the sound of air “grunting” up from the blueberries and dough! Use a cast-iron, high-sided skillet, stove-to-oven casserole dish, or Dutch oven.
Serves 8 to 10
6 cups wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into dice-sized pieces
1 free-range egg
About 3/4 cup plain kefir or whole milk
1 tsp maple extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
In 9- or 10-inch, high-sided skillet over medium heat, add blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir often and simmer until jammy, about 20 minutes. While berries are simmering, prepare biscuit batter.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add butter pieces. Using a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your fingers, cut in or rub butter in until it’s a rough pea-sized crumble.
In measuring cup, add egg, then top up with kefir to the 1-cup mark. Beat lightly with fork, then add to butter and flour mixture; add maple extract and maple syrup. Continue blending with fork until fully incorporated but not smooth; do not overwork dough.
Using large soup spoon, dollop dough over berry mixture, leaving some gaps here and there. Cover skillet tightly with aluminum foil or lid, and pop into preheated oven.
After 15 minutes, remove foil from skillet — be careful of hot steam! — and continue to bake, uncovered, until biscuits are lightly golden, about 10 more minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes or so before serving with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
TIP For a sweeter dessert, sprinkle the dough with a generous amount — 1 to 2 tablespoons — of coarse sugar before baking.
IMAGES BY: Signe Langford.
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015.