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Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt

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Nova Scotia blueberry grunt is a classic East Coast fruit dessert! This is a very simple, traditional recipe which makes the most of seasonal wild blueberries.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
A serving of Nova Scotia blueberry grunt topped with whipped cream in a white speckled bowl on a stone surface.

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.

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A small white speckled plate filled with wild blueberries on a stone surface.

Ingredients

  • flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • butter
  • milk
  • fresh wild blueberries
  • sugar
  • water

Step-By-Step Instructions

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.

A hand mixing biscuit dough in a glass bowl with a fork.

Bring the blueberries, water, and remaining sugar and butter to a boil in the Dutch oven, about 3 to 5 minutes.

A silver pot with handles with wild blueberries, sugar, water, and chunks of butter inside.

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.

Hands scraping biscuit dough from a spoon into a pot of cooked blueberries.

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!

Hands with a grey striped tea towel holding the handles of a pot filled with Nova Scotia 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.

A bowl of blueberry grunt topped with whipped cream in a small white speckled bowl.

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.

Three servings of blueberry grunt with whipped cream in small speckled bowls on a stone surface next to a vase of pink and purple flowers.

Substitutions

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.

A hand holding a spoon with a bite of blueberry grunt ready to be eaten.

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!

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A serving of Nova Scotia blueberry grunt topped with whipped cream in a white speckled bowl on a stone surface.

Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt

Author: Kelly Neil
Nova Scotia blueberry grunt is a classic East Coast fruit dessert! This is a very simple, traditional recipe which makes the most of seasonal wild blueberries.
4.83 from 45 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 339 kcal

Special Equipment

  • 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
  • Fork
  • Parchment paper optional
  • Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.

Ingredients
 
 

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
  • cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Recipe Notes

Feel free to use fresh or frozen blueberries.
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, in Nova Scotia a hot cup of tea is pretty much mandatory.

Substitutions

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 dairy-free butter 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 dairy-free milk can be used in place of dairy milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 190gCalories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 562mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 3gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 432IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have a ton of blueberries from my bushes and I was looking for something to make. I used this recipe for the technique – I had never heard of making a cobbler-type dish on the stove. I made the blueberry part substituting in 1/2 cup cranberries and using splenda instead of sugar. It worked well. I just used bisquick for the cobbler part and followed the directions on cooking and it came out perfect.

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