A taste of Nova Scotia – Blueberry Grunt

Sweet dumplings on a bed of Blueberries ready to go into the oven

Sweet dumplings on a bed of Blueberries ready to go into the oven

I was not a fan of blueberry pie growing up. I think the texture of the blueberries kind of freaked me out. Thankfully due to a blueberry pie in Switzerland I got over it. My friend Alice and I had just hiked down a mountain in Valais in the pouring rain wearing nothing but ponchos. Mine was a blue RTE poncho I had got from volunteering at a festival, hers was a co-op one, not the most sensible wear for trying to reach a glacier. We unfortunately didn’t make it as to the top as the rain which had started turned way to snow, hail and thunder as we neared the top. Already soaked we decided to turn around and head down as quickly as possible. At the base of the mountain was a resort where she had worked previously and she said they made an amazing warm one crust blueberry pie so we stopped in when we reached the bottom. I was nervous as I had never liked pie before but was too polite to say no thank you as she was so excited and in all honesty I was wet and freezing and the idea of anything warm was appealing. She was right it was a delicious blueberry pie and it won me over.

Blueberry Grunt, well the blueberry mixture, is like the middle of a blueberry pie. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have had blueberry grunt in my life, it was never something we had at home growing up something that now will change. It’s not a pie, or a cake nor a cobbler it’s a bit in between and is truly Nova Scotian and delicious. The below recipe is again from several sources Select Nova Scotia and AllRecipes.com. It’s warming yet filled with summer blueberries so it works for both times of the year.


6 tbsp of butter
1 cup of flour
1 cup of caster sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup of milk
2 tsp of vanilla
Pinch of salt

Blueberry Mixture
6 cups of blueberries (I used frozen ones)
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 tsp if cinnamon
2 tbsp of lemon juice
3/4 cup of water


Preheat the oven to 180

In a large bowl mix together your flour, sugar, salt and baking powder
Cut in the butter. I used my hands for this but it got a bit messy so I would suggest using one hand if you can and keeping the other one clean so you can add in the milk and a bit more flour if necessary as you go.
Once the butter and flour are combined well add in enough milk to make it a soft dough. Add a bit at a time and mix until you get the right consistency. Should be soft textured, slightly sticky akin to a cookie dough that you can drop onto your baking tray. Once your dough is done set aside.

To prepare the blueberries put them in a large bowl adding the sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and water to the bowl, stir well coating all of the blueberries. Then pour your blueberry mixture into a prepared oven safe pan. I used an old deep frying pan that the handle had come off which was similar to a big casserole dish.

Spoon drop your batter over the blueberries using a tablespoon and pop it into your preheated oven for 30 min or until your dumplings are golden brown. Serve warm with a healthy dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy the sweet taste of Nova Scotia.


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