I have written about 4 versions on how to start this post, trying to sound eloquent and intelligent being a newborn food blogger- but the truth of the matter is: I just wanted a strawberry dessert and it was really good. I am from Nova Scotia, home of the Blueberry grunt and I have never made it. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten it. It is essentially dumplings simmered in bleuberry sauce, a savory version of doughboys. I LOVE strawberries and am not so big into blueberries- I can remember the only KUNG-POW blueberries I have ever eaten were on the backrounds coming back to Halifax, coming from Peggy’s Cove. They were the size of nickels and had wicked good flavor. If only they all tasted like that….
As I said, I wanted some type of strawberry dessert, and was inspired to make a grunt after reading one of my Nova Scotia cookbooks. As it turns out, it was fabutastic! Most grannies out East use all-purpose flour and a lot of shortening in their cooking, and the dumplings are no different- I prefer butter to shortnening (butter makes it better!!!), and sometimes I just get bored with all-purpose flour…so I switched a few things around and came up with my own version of Strawberry Grunt. As a side note, I usually keep frozen berries in the freezer from the local guys- they taste wayyyyy better and, we are a farm and we like to support others like they do us. I won’t get into the economy side of things….
I usually thaw my strawberries before using so I can take advantage of the juice that seeps out. I am completely averse to adding water, which dilutes the flavor. So I save the juice to use a little for my cornstarch slurry and the rest goes in the pot to make it saucy!
4 c frozen strawberries, thawed and cut in half
1 c sugar (increase or decrease according to berry sweetness, and your preference of course…)
1 Tbsp citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit… whatever)
4 Tbsp juice from thawed berries for slurry, remaining goes to the pot
1 Tbsp cornstarch
In a short & wide pot (a tall skinny pot will not fit all of the dumplings), heat up berries, juice, sugar, salt and citrus until berries simmer. Mix the cornstarch and 4 tbsp of juice in a bowl for the slurry (slurry= cornstarch and liquid, used to thicken), when all of the lumps are dissolved, stir into hot berries. Allow to thicken and continue as described below!
I used pastry flour in this recipe because I find it makes a more tender dumpling, and it cuts the density of whole wheat flour.
1/2 c pastry flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
2 tsp honey (or a medium sized squeeze from the honey bear)
2 tbsp butter
Rub butter into dry ingredients. Combine honey and milk, add to dry ingredients- mixing just enough to combine. A little more milk may be necessary, depending on the day…
Drop by the spoonful into hot strawberry goo, and simmer over medium-low heat, covered for 20 minutes or until they look like the picture below.
Wait, if you can, until it cools just a bit so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth- it’s like hot lava. Then serve with a good vanilla ice cream- homemade vanilla bean & strawberry swirl ice cream in our case.