Blueberry Grunt (1977) ★★★★★

I recently bought this cookbook at a used book store in my city. The copy I have is the 7th edition, printed in 1977, but the original publishing date is 1966.

Original Recipe:

From New Brunswick we received this recipe with the comment "a quick and easy steamed dessert for summertime," indirectly indicating that even in summer, the evenings are cool enough to warrant a hot dessert. The sound of the pudding steaming led to the traditional name "grunt" for this kind of dessert.

In a saucepan with a tight-fitting cover combine
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
pinch of salt

Stir in
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

Cook on top of range, stirring constantly, until mixture boils for about thirty seconds. Keep warm.
Sift or blend together
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in until crumbly
1/2 cup shortening

Beat together and stir in
1 egg
1 cup milk

Mix lightly with a fork to make a soft, sticky dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot blueberry mixture. Cover tightly, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve hot, spooning sauce over top.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

The Verdict:

At first I thought this was just okay, but then I realized I had scraped my bowl clean and was going back for seconds...and thirds. So this is delicious! The only major issue I had was that the recipe made way too much dough for my cast iron skillet. I ended up cooking 4 biscuits in the oven to use up the leftover dough. The solution here is to either make the droppings bigger or reduce the dough recipe slightly. I also substituted butter for shortening because when I opened up my (never used) shortening...well, there was a colony of baby ants inside. Ew.
Also, I did love this the way it was, but I think that the dough could have been slightly improved by maybe adding some flavour by way of vanilla extract or perhaps lemon zest.

Modernized Recipe:

(Adapted from The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book)

Follow the original recipe. Add vanilla or lemon zest to the dough if desired.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. This sounds good- I've never made a grunt before. We don't traditionally do them in the UK- we have dumplings in stews, or there are 'Sailor Pies' that are cooked on top of the stove, but they both tend to use suet pastry. Cobblers are a bit more common now (baked scone- biscuit- topping, think it's still the same US name) but they came to us from America.

    I think this could be good with rhubarb too.

    1. Sailor Pies! I love the name.
      I believe that rhubarb is delicious in pretty much anything. Unfortunately it's pretty expensive to buy it here and the season is fairly short. I really want to plant some in my backyard to harvest myself, because it's one of my favourites.

  2. Replies
    1. I've been fighting off the hordes all summer!