Beach House Diaries: Traditional Blueberry Grunt Recipe

blueberries in hand

If your travel creed is "I came. I saw. I ate," you will definitely want to sample regional fare. What follows is a classic Nova Scotia recipe from the simpler-is-better school, which is much more appetizing than its off-putting name implies. ("Grunt" supposedly refers to the distinctive sound made by the berries as they stew). Think of this as the local, stove-top equivalent of peach cobbler or strawberry shortcake.


  • 1 quart wild blueberries (preferably ones you've picked yourself)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


To make the sauce, toss blueberries, spices, sugar and liquids into a large saucepan or skillet. Boil gently until slightly reduced. For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening and add milk; then drop spoonfuls of soft dough into the juicy concoction. Cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes (dumplings should be nicely puffed). Place dumplings in a serving dish, ladle with berry sauce and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb will report on life at a summer beach house in AOL Travel's weekly Beach House Diaries. Follow along with her or share your beach house tips in the comments below.
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