***Since posting this recipe, it has come to my attention that blueberries contain solanine, which is one of the glykoalkaloids responsible for nightshade allergies. If you are on a nightshade free diet, please proceed with caution unless you are certain that blueberries are okay for you! You can find more information here.***
One of the first books I ever remember reading in school was Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. If you’ve never read it, the story is about a little girl who goes blueberry picking with her mother in the blueberry patch, while at the same time a bear cub goes with her mother to eat blueberries in the blueberry patch. Shenanigans ensue.
I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s remarkable how a children’s book can fix an image of how something should be in your mind. Like Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Icing sugar covered, rose-flavoured gelatin cubes? Nope!).
Our teacher brought in a basket of blueberries, and we tried them. I was NOT impressed. These little, sour things were not what I had pictured at all! Why would Sal want to eat all of these? What horribly deprived childhood did she have that she thought these, of all things on earth, were worth all that trouble?
Then we moved to Nova Scotia, and I understood. My poor teacher, she must have tried to get them while they were out of season.
Because there is nothing on this earth better than a ripe blueberry.
But alas, the time for ripe blueberries has gone, and those of us who were overeager at the U-Pick have freezers FULL of frozen berries. You’ve had everything under the sun – blueberry pie, blueberry popsicles, blueberry ice cream, blueberry smoothies, blueberry cobbler, blueberries and cream, so much that you’re sick of them for a few months.
And in Nova Scotia, when the snow starts to drift, the wet cold seeping into your very bones, and you start craving those heavy, August nights… that’s when you break out the traditional Blueberry Grunt. Hot, fragrant, comforting blueberry grunt.
The first thing we need is our berries. Ripe, of course, or thawed from frozen. Four whole cups of them. (Did I mention that the best thing about this recipe is that it only requires one lidded pot? That’s it!)
Dashed with nutmeg and cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and some water.
Stir it all together. This is going to be our sauce. Stick that baby on a stove and bring it to a simmer.
That COLOUR! I want lipstick that colour, anyone got any recommendations? Maybe I should just patent some organic blueberry lipstick…
While that’s doing it’s thing, you’re going to make the ‘doughboys’ in a bowl. This won’t be like regular biscuit dough. We’re making drop-biscuits, really, so the dough is going to be sticky.
Using a spoon, dollop the dough on top of the simmering blueberry sauce in the pot. Try not to faint whilst inhaling that blissful smell…
Now comes the hard part. Cover, and wait for 15 minutes. (Keep that simmer on!) DO NOT under any circumstances lift the lid! Do not take a peek. Do not take a sniff. Touch not the lid or you will have unsatisfactory grunt and that’s just not allowed.
At the end of 15 minutes, you will lift the cover to reveal the most perfectly golden doughboys you have ever seen.
I like the sauce nice and thick, so I’ve used quite a large, shallow pot. If you want more sauce to doughboy ratio, you can use a smaller pot, or double the sauce, or halve the dough… really it’s up to you.
Oooooh my goodness.
Have you ever seen something so delicious in your life?
Blueberries, cinnamon, lemon…
Just the most perfect combination. Now, you can top it with whipped cream, but I love mine with just a scoop of vanilla ice cream (yes, even in winter!)
While it’s still hot, of course…
Now this is comfort food!
- 4 cups wild , fresh, or frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp butter or shortening
- 1 cup milk (OR soy milk!)
In a large, lidded pot, mix blueberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and water.
Place pot on the oven and bring to a nice, steady simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure all ingredients are mixed and even.
In a bowl, mix your flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter or shortening, and add the milk and mix. It should still be sticky, but resemble biscuit dough.
Using a large spoon, dollop the dough on top of the simmering sauce in the pot.
Cover with a lid and wait for 15 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE LID (hard, I know!). You're steaming the doughboys.
When the 15 minutes are up, open the lid and serve! Your doughboys should be cooked all the way through, and the sauce nice and thick.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (my fav!)
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