Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt is a classic East Coast fruit dessert! Traditionally made on the stovetop, this blueberry grunt recipe is baked in the oven; Walk away and forget about it until the timer goes off! It’s a quick, simple, and tasty way to get the most out of fresh or frozen blueberries.
This post was first published on December 28, 2016, and was last updated December 26, 2019.
Favourite Nova Scotia Food Recipes
Nova Scotia is the Easternmost province of Canada. A long peninsula jutting out from New Brunswick, we are surrounded by the dark, and cold, Atlantic ocean. Historically, this translates into a diet abundant with seafood, simple garden preserves, and hearty (often heavy) dishes loaded with root vegetables. We have many regional recipes and dishes. Classic Nova Scotia seafood chowder, homemade molasses baked beans, and blueberry grunt are three of my favourites.
What Is Blueberry Grunt?
Blueberry grunt is basically a cobbler, however, a cobbler is baked in the oven, and grunt is traditionally made on the stove top. To make blueberry grunt, biscuits and a blueberry mixture cook on the stovetop in a pot covered tightly with foil. As the biscuits steam, you can hear the berries “grunting” in the pot. I prefer the ease of baked blueberry grunt because I can walk away and forget about it until the timer goes off.
Should You Use Fresh Or Frozen Blueberries In Blueberry Grunt?
I live in Eastern Canada where wild blueberries are abundant, and each August, we head to our favourite wild blueberry patches with containers to fill with fresh berries. Like most seasonal fruit, wild blueberries are only available for a short window of time.
In addition to fresh wild blueberries, I also make blueberry grunt with fresh highbush blueberries (local and imported), or frozen blueberries with great results. Frozen blueberries yield more juice than fresh so don’t be alarmed if your finished blueberry grunt is swimming in liquid. All of the extra juice will be absorbed by the biscuits as the blueberry grunt sits.
Shortening Vs. Butter In Biscuits
I bake biscuits with butter, however, I prefer the shortening biscuits for blueberry grunt dessert. Shortening has a higher melting point than butter; You can mix the dough with your hands without it melting. Also, because the blueberry grunt biscuits are baked over juicy berries, the flakiness factor isn’t super important. I think the texture of biscuits made with shortening is lighter, fluffier, and better for soaking up all of that gorgeous purple blueberry juice.
Wild Blueberry Picking In The Halifax Area
Wild blueberries are a major cultivated crop in Nova Scotia, however, they grow abundantly in patches throughout the province. My favourite spots to pick wild blueberries are in the Inverness region of Cape Breton. When I make blueberry grunt in Halifax at home, I pick berries at McIntosh Run in Spryfield. Also, I have found wild blueberry patches in and around Bayer’s Lake, Dartmouth Crossing, and Purcell’s Cove.
Wild blueberries generally grow in low scrubby land near forested areas, and begin to fruit around the beginning of August. Watch the sides of the roads and keep your eyes peeled for pops of blue in the scrub!
How To Serve Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt
I cool baked blueberry grunt for 15 minutes on a baking rack before serving. To serve, spoon a generous dollop of cooked berries, and at least one dumpling, into a shallow bowl. Top with one or more of the following:
- Fresh, lightly sweetened, whipped cream
- A drizzle of 35% heavy cream
- Vanilla ice cream
- Homemade lemon curd
- Clotted cream
- A hot cup of tea!
Want More Blueberry Recipes? Try:
- 4 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup milk
- Whipped cream or ice cream for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Place blueberries in a 9x13 oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar evenly over berries and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove blueberries from the oven. Stir gently to distribute any undissolved sugar. Return blueberries to the oven and bake 5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Mix flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt to combine. Add shortening and work it into the flour with your hands until the flour mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the milk and mix with a fork until you have a smooth shaggy dough.
- Remove the hot blueberries from the oven. Pull off chunks of biscuit dough and scatter pieces randomly over top of hot blueberries until all dough is gone. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove blueberry grunt from the oven and cool ona rack for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with dollops of whipped cream or scoops of ice cream.
Use fresh or frozen highbush or lowbush blueberries.
Don't be alarmed if your blueberry grunt is swimming in juice when you take it from the oven. The biscuits will soak up all of that juice as the grunt sits!
To save time use pre-made biscuit dough.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, a drizzle of 35% heavy cream, lemon curd, or clotted cream.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 144mg Carbohydrates: 30g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g