Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt

Cast Iron Blueberry Grunt for Blueberry Month by Jess Emin

Nova Scotia is home to over 40,000 acres of wild blueberries, so if we had an official dessert…blueberries would be in it!

Blueberry Grunt is a stove-top dessert that brings out the full flavour our wild blueberries have to offer. The unusual name comes from the sound the blueberries make while boiling under the dumplings. Serve with a generous helping of ice cream and you’ll be wishing for seconds.


4 cups Nova Scotia wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup White sugar
1 tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Lemon zest
1 cup Orange juice
1 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Spelt flour
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1/2 cup Butter
1 tbsp. Baking powder
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Yogurt


Preparation time: 40 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Make the dumplings; it’s best if they are made first so the flour can absorb moisture. In a large bowl whisk flour, spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  3. Cut the butter into flour mixture with a fork until butter and flour are combined in small crumbly pieces.
  4. Add yogurt to flour mixture and blend with fork until combined. The dumpling batter should look slightly more wet than a biscuit recipe.
  5. Pour blueberries into cast-iron pan or a similar heavy-bottomed vessel. Add sugar and orange juice, lemon juice and zest.
  6. On stovetop bring blueberry mixture to a simmer on medium-high heat.
  7. Scoop dumping batter with a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop and arrange on top of hot berries.
  8. Carefully cover dish loosely with aluminum foil and place it in oven.
  9. Bake, covered, 15 minutes.
  10. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  11. Remove dish from oven and carefully remove foil.
  12. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, and serve with ice cream or maple whipped cream.

NOTE: This recipe can be easily adapted to cook over a campfire. Instead of placing the cast iron pan loosely covered with foil in the oven, seal the foil tighter around the pan, and check dumplings after 10 minutes.

Local Source Guide

Local Blueberries: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Masstown Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., any other of the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia

Recipe provided by: Chef Andrew Farrell, Kitchen Door

*Watch Chef Andrew prepare this dish on Kitchen Door’s webshow Chit Chat Chop: Episode 45, Blueberry Grunt

Photography provided by: Jessica Emin, @eatwithjessie

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