08 July 2012

Mmm...Canada: Bumbleberry Grunt

There are just some words that bring a smile to my face.

"Bumbleberry" is one of them. Sheer onomatopoeic bliss, to my ears at least.

I've done some reading on bumbleberry--and while it may not be a Canadian term, it certainly is embraced in many kitchens across my fair land.

Add "grunt" -- both as in a Nova Scotian blueberry grunt and another bit of culinary onomatopoeia referring to the sound of the fruit erupting through biscuit dough -- and I think we've got a dish that sounds as good as it tastes.

Bumbleberries, of course, don't exist. The term refers to a mixture of berries, of no particular ratio. Sometimes it includes apples (as this one does), sometimes rhubarb. I mostly have bumbleberry pies and tarts, to use up last bits of berries or to make up enough filling for a pie.

Grunts are one of my favourite quick puddings. Unlike many where you simmer fruit on the hob, this one is entirely done in the oven. I've outlined how to make steamed dumplings below, but if you want more of crispier top, don't cover the dish with foil after you've dolloped the dough over the fruit.

I do recommend serving this shortly after making it. Otherwise, the dumplings could absorb the fruit juices, and you'd be left barren of those that gorgeous claret-coloured sauce.

Bumbleberry Grunt
Yield 1 22cmx22cm (9"x9") pan; Serves 4-6

For the fruit
140g (250ml/1c) blackberries
150g (250ml/1c) blueberries
125g (250ml/1c) raspberries
160g (250ml/1c) strawberries (quartered, if they are large berries)
1 tart baking apple (such as a Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm pieces
100g (125ml/0.5c) sugar
1.5tsp (7.5ml) cornstarch
125ml (.5c) water
0.25-.5tsp (1.25-2.5ml) orange flower water OR 1tsp (5ml) vanilla extract

For the dumplings
220g (375ml/1.5c) all purpose flour
1Tbsp (15ml) baking powder
0.5tsp (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
0.25tsp (1.25ml) salt
1Tbsp (15ml) sugar
30g (20ml/2Tbsp) cold butter
80-125ml (0.33-0.5c) buttermilk (or more, if needed)

Preheat oven to 200c/400F.

Combine fruit with sugar, cornstarch and orange flower water or vanilla. Tumble into a 22cm square (9"x9") tin. Pour water over top. Cover tightly with tin foil and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling.

About five minutes before the fruits are done stewing, set to work on the dumplings.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Pour in about 80ml of the buttermilk and gently mix, adding more liquid until you have a soft, but not damp dough.

When the fruit is happily blurbling away, remove the tin from the oven and carefully decloak the foil from its top. Drop the biscuit dough over top the bubbling fruit, leaving gaps, so the juicy liquid can flow and burst atop the grunt. Replace the foil, covering the tin carefully. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve while hot.

To serve:
Place a spoonful or two of dumplings in a bowl and spoon the fruit mixture and its juices over top. If you wish, serve with Chantilly cream, custard or ice cream.

I'm a quill for hire!


Anonymous said...

Mmmm! This looks and sounds delicious! I love the word, Bumbleberry, too. ;-)


Michelle said...

Looks delicious. The color is so bumbleberry. I'll sure give this a try.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I always gravitate towards the bumble berry pies at the marketsI remember having my first grunt when I was in Newfoundland, a kind family invited me in for dinner.

Anonymous said...

Oh my... I must give this a try. I've been on a hunt for a good bumbleberry recipe since I fell in love with it in a pie version so very long ago. Never found quite the right mixture. Maybe this will hit the mark. :) Thanks for sharing.

Kelly Bartus Kal said...

And it's just darn fun to say the word. Bumbleberry. Bumbleberry. Love it.