IMBB 7: You're Just the Cutest Little Dumpling!
For the past few months, I've read about the various "Is My Blog Burning?" events on other food blogs but I didn't have occassion to participate, as I didn't have a blog then. All that's changed with the advent of At Our Table, and so I'm really pleased to participate in this one.
This month's "Is My Blog Burning?" theme is "You're Just the Cutest Little Dumpling" and it's hosted by Jarrett of Life in Flow and Food Porn Watch. When I first read the theme, I was a bit concerned because I don't have much experience cooking dumplings. I was thinking of traditional dumpling recipes and nothing was jumping out at me. But then it hit me: Make a grunt! I've read about grunts in cookbooks and magazines and always thought they sounded good, despite their unusual name. I didn't have any plans to make one any time soon, but then when I saw Jarrett's theme, the grunt stepped forth from the recesses of my brain. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try one out.
I made a Summer Berry Grunt. A grunt, also known as a slump, is a traditional American dessert that is often associated with New England. It usually consists of dumplings baked over simmering fruit. Before commiting to the grunt as my submission to IMBB, I did some research to confirm that the dough used here really is considered dumplings. After a few reputable web sources and cookbooks confirmed it, I was off and running.
Summer Berry Grunt
This very simple recipe requires 10-15 minutes to prepare and about 10 minutes to cook. While I altered the recipe some, it's based on one that I saw in Shape magazine by Robin Vitetta-Miller, M.S.
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Homemade whipped cream (optional)
Note: You can obviously use plain sugar in place of the vanilla sugar. I happened to have made some vanilla sugar and thought it might give the dessert a little something extra. Regular sugar would work just as well.
Rinse your raspberries and blackberries well. In a large skillet, combine the berries, water and 1/3 cup vanilla sugar. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer.
While the berries are cooking, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Mix with a fork to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Mix together with a fork until dry mixture comes together in a soft dough.
Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto simmering berries, making 8 dumplings. Cover pan and cook 10 minutes, until dumplings are puffed up and cooked through.
Makes 4 servings. Serve with homemade whipped cream, if you'd like. We did. The grunt was a really nice summertime dessert that showcased some beautiful seasonal berries. It was quick and easy to do, but it tasted special and satisfying. I'll definitely make it again and experiment with other fruit combinations in the future.