Though we have many regional recipes and dishes, seafood chowder, homemade molasses baked beans, and Nova Scotia blueberry grunt are three of my all-time favourites!
Blueberry grunt is basically a cobbler, however, where cobbler is baked in the oven, grunt is traditionally made on the stove top. To make Nova Scotia blueberry grunt, a blueberry mixture is topped with biscuit dough and cooked on the stove in a tightly covered Dutch oven. It’s said as the biscuits steam, you can hear the berries “grunting” in the pot.
- baking powder
- fresh wild blueberries
Have a Dutch oven ready. Cut a large square of parchment paper to fit over the top of the pot.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl to combine.
Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
Add the milk and use a fork to mix everything together to a soft dough. Set aside.
Bring the blueberries, water, and remaining sugar and butter to a boil in the Dutch oven, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the berries until the juices have been released and the liquid is syrupy, about 10-12 minutes.
Drop the biscuit dough by the spoonful all over the top of the hot berries. I took my pot off of the stove to demonstrate for photos, so my berries have a jammy, wrinkly film on top, however, drop your dough right into the berries on the stovetop.
Place the parchment paper over the top of the pot, then cover the it tightly with the lid. Continue to simmer the berries for 15 minutes. Do not open the cover while the dough is steaming! You want all of that warm luscious heat to cook the dumplings through.
Remove the lid from the pot, then carefully lift off the parchment paper. The paper will be very wet from the condensation of cooking. Don’t let it spill into your blueberry grunt!
Serve Nova Scotia blueberry grunt warm from the pot with a generous dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Notes & Tips
Feel free to use fresh or frozen blueberries for Nova Scotia blueberry grunt. High bush blueberries are also great in this recipe.
My favourite way to serve Nova Scotia blueberry grunt is with a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. You can also try serving it with a drizzle of 35% heavy cream, a spoonful of homemade lemon curd (it takes less than 5 minutes to cook!), or some clotted cream. And of course, a hot cup of tea is pretty much mandatory in Nova Scotia.
You could really use any fruit you like in this recipe, however, fresh wild blueberries make it a traditional Nova Scotia blueberry grunt.
Substitute organic cane sugar for white sugar if you prefer.
Make this recipe plant-forward by swapping your favourite plant-based butter in for regular butter. Shortening is also a great substitute and yields a light, fluffy dumpling. Just be sure to choose vegetable shortening.
Spelt or whole wheat flour make fine substitutes for white flour.
Any plant-based milk can be used in place of dairy milk.
More Recipes Using Summer Berries
Did you make this blueberry grunt? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!
Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt
- 1 Medium to large pot with lid cast iron or metal
- Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
- Liquid measuring cup
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- Parchment paper optional
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
For The Blueberries
- 4 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
For The Dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- Bring the blueberries, water, sugar, and butter to a boil in a medium-large pot that has a tight-fitting lid. Cook the blueberries for 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer the berries until the liquid is syrupy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- While the berries are cooking make the dumpling dough. In a medium-large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt with a fork. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the milk, then use a fork to mix everything together to a soft dough. Set aside.
- Once the berries are cooked, use a spoon to drop chunks of dumpling dough all over the hot berries. Keep going until all of the dough has been used. Cover the pot with a large square of parchment paper and top it with the pot lid. Continue to simmer the berries for 15 minutes. Do not open the pot lid while the dumplings are steaming.
- Remove the lid from the pot, and ***carefully*** lift off the parchment paper (be mindful of the hot steam underneath the paper which can burn your skin!!!). The top of the paper will be quite wet from the condensation of cooking. Do not let it spill into the pot! Serve blueberry grunt warm from the pot topped with ice cream or whipped cream or both.
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
Those wild blueberries look so good and the recipe sounds very simple. Love the idea of baking the blueberries in the oven. That means no standing in the stove top and stirring. Also the dumpling dough is so simple to put together. Love the recipe!
This looks absolutely divine! I love ALL things blueberry and my mouth was just watering reading this post! YUM!!!
It is time for me to explore some Nova Scotia pearls! 🙂 Eveything looks really good, so I should definitely make it over the weekend. And the plate in the last picture fits the berries perfectly – great choice for the shot!
Fabulous way to use blueberries. I’ve got a lot of them frozen in the fridge and I was hoping to find a good use to them as I need to clean the freezer up. I’ve found it! 🙂
I have tried blueberry crumble earlier but this scotia is absolutely new. I could not have imagined anything as delicious as this one. Your images are making me drool over this dessert.
Cheese Curd In Paradise says
I absolutely love blueberry desserts, and I love when they have the smaller berries like this grunt has. I have a bunch of berries, and this recipe is on my list for this weekend!
Bernice Hill says
That bowl of blueberries just had me salivating…. there is nothing like freshly picked WILD bluberries. The ones in the stores just don’t cut it.
There is no such thing as “too much blueberry” – it is sooo goood, particularly when you make smething as delicious as this grunt. Love the recipe and really looking forward to trying it!
I love the simplicity of this recipe and those wild blueberries! Gorgeous dessert for the summertime 🙂
Byron Thomas says
You bring me right back to my childhood with this recipe. I grew up in Newfoundland, which is right next door to Nova Scotia, so I know all about picking blueberries the second half of every summer break. My mom used to make these grunts all the time. Thank you for the memories. I have to try making my own version!
[email protected] says
Your photographs of Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt looks so delicious, Kelly. Wild blueberries are so wonderful – I can imagine how good this would taste, especially with vanilla ice cream melting on top. Yum. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing.
Matt - Total Feasts says
I used to love seeing my mother make blueberry grunt on the stove. I also remember burning my mouth with the hot blueberries. Good tips on where to source the berries in HRM!
[email protected] says
First off, I just want to say how much I love that photo of the blueberries on the plate. Absolutely stunning. Now, as for the recipe itself, it sounds amaaaazing. I always wondered what made a grunt a grunt (though I never looked it up for some reason). Delightfully simple, and perfect for the explosion of blueberries here on the West Coast. Cheers!
“Nova Scotia is the Easternmost province of Canada.” Please…..check a map. Newfoundland and Labrador is East of Nova Scotia. And, since 1949, has been a province of Canada.
Wow, ok thanks Brenda! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to point that out to me. Thanks so much for your kindness!
Shailaja Desai says
Just perfect! Gorgeous clicks too…would love to visit Nova Scotia someday:))
Love traditional Canadian desserts like this one, and it’s perfect for those of us w a-a-a y on the other side of the country who are overloaded with blueberries now!
A wonderful, delightful, and classic Canadian recipe – and you’ve made it so beautifully! The substitution notes are especially appreciated too. We’re in peak blueberry season here (all the way on the other coast), so I think a grunt or two might be in order. Lol. Cheers!
Thank you for the delicious recipe! 🙂 It’s my first time making blueberry grunt and it came out perfect! It was a lot easier than I expected it to be.
Excellent news! It’s one of your favourite desserts and it’s so easy to make! Thank you for trying the recipe! xo.
Our home here in New Glasgow (NS) smells divine, your blueberry grunt is simmering. Can’t wait to dig in.
There is nothing like our traditional Nova Scotia recipes.
Thanks for sharing.
Oh, yay! I’m so happy! I’ll wave to you from the highway the next time I’m driving to Cape Breton. I hope you love it! xo.