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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blackberry Grunt

This is a new recipe for me, one I hope some of you will try during this summer's berry season. Blackberries bake well (I cannot suggest a substitute, unless you want to try blueberries).


Blackberry Grunt

Adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats television show
Serves 6-8

9 1/2 oz all purpose flour, approximately 2 c
2 teas baking powder
3/4 teas salt
1/4 teas baking soda
2 T unsalted butter, cut into half inch cubes and kept chilled
1 c buttermilk
1 pd 3 oz fresh or frozen blackberries, approximately 4 c
1 c sugar
1 c water
1/2 teas ground ginger (dried)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch spills, although I didn't see much risk of it overflowing.

Place the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda into the bowl of a food processor and process for 4 pulses. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and with a pastry blender or your fingers work the butter more completely into the flour mixture until about half the fat disappears and the rest is left in pea-size pieces. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula until it comes together. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the berries.

Over medium-high heat, combine the blackberries, sugar, water and ginger in a saucepan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Bring to a simmer and decrease the heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Check the back of the spoon you've been stirring with. If you draw your finger through the liquid and it makes a definite track, that indicates the sauce coats the back of a spoon). It may seem somewhat too thin, but will thicken a bit more as it bakes.

If you are going to bake the grunt in the skillet leave the blackberry mixture where it is. If you are going to bake in a baking dish, transfer the mixture to a buttered 8X8 (or equivalent) oven-safe dish. Drop the dough onto the fruit mixture using a 1-oz disher (small spring ice cream scoop) or a large spoon, evenly distributing it over the top. Do not smooth out but leave in dumpling-like lumps. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is just starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow the grunt to cool for 15 to 30 minutes, before serving with ice cream (Leon's favorite) or drizzle with whole cream (my favorite--not as sweet).

Note from Colette:

I will likely bake this in a baking dish rather than the cast iron skillet in the future, unless I have company who can help me eat it immediately. The baking dish will better facilitate leftovers.

Next time I make this I will use half whole wheat pastry flour in the dumplings/biscuits and I plan to sprinkle the tops with some cinnamon sugar and I will test it with an egg white wash which will hold the sugar on top and allow it to crisp up nicely. I'll let you know how that turns out.

This recipe, although baked, seemed to suffer no ill effects from my high altitude. If I travel to a low altitude and have access to blackberries, I'll try it out and see what differences there may be.


  1. dumpling-like lumps it has a ring to it, especially considering it is grunt.
    Try saying it altogether. :)