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Blueberry Dumplings

Since I mentioned that I bought a huge box of blueberries yesterday, I thought I’d let you know what I did with it. First of all, I ate a lot of the berries out of hand, munching on them throughout the weekend. They went surprisingly quickly. Second of all, I made dessert.
Tempted though I was to make muffins, I wanted to do something that would be fairly light, easy and use up a lot of berries. I considered pie, but ultimate decided that I wanted something lighter. Even though they are often considered to be a winter-time comfort food I chose to make dumplings in berry sauce. After all, you just can’t get fresh berries of this quality in winter.
Now I will say right now that I am not an expert in dumpling-making, so if your grandmother’s recipe is better than this one, by all means go ahead and use that one. My grandmother didn’t make dumplings, so I was on my own. I think they’re really easy and can be either rich and buttery, almost like a scone, or soft and fluffy. These are the fluffy variety and get a butter taste from the buttermilk without actually using any butter in the recipe.
I adore the sauce, and it’s worth making even if you’re not going to do the dumplings. Serve it (and the dumplings) hot, over ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Buttermilk Dumplings in Blueberry Sauce
For the Sauce:
3 cups blueberries
1/4 cup water
3-4 tbsp sugar (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water

For the dumplings:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk (approx)
1 tsp vanilla

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until most of the berries have popped. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture and cook for an addition minute, unti lthe syrup thickens slightly.
Turn heat to a low simmer and cover.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add in the vanilla and gradually add in the buttermilk, stirring until the dough comes together. The final dough should be wetter than a scone dough, but thicker than waffle or pancake batter, so if it is too dry, add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Drop golf-ball sized dollops of dough (3-4 at a time, depending on your sauce pan) into the blueberry sauce. Cover the saucepan and cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on ths size of your dough balls), until the dumplings spring back slightly when you poke them with a spoon.
Scoop out, along with some sauce, and serve immediately – alone or with ice cream.
I recommend serving them in a bowl, not on a plate.

Serves 4.

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14 Comments
  • Natalia
    July 18, 2006

    Sounds delicious! I think this would be a good summer dish because you don’t even have to turn on the oven.

  • mlk
    July 18, 2006

    looks wonderful….silly question, though. Could you sub. plain yogurt for buttermilk? (or would that defeat the purpose)?

  • Nic
    July 18, 2006

    Natalia – You could probably substitute plain yogurt for the buttermilk and have similar results, but you would have to add more yogurt due to its thickness. Honestly, I really love the flavor of buttermilk and blueberries here, but give it a try if you want to experiment.

  • Miriam
    July 18, 2006

    Hi! I love your site. I’ve been browsing around and found some recipes I’d really love to try. I was wondering do you think I can sub the blueberries with figs? Thanks!

  • Tokyoastrogirl
    July 18, 2006

    Beautiful, as always. What a brilliant idea. This would be the perfect dessert with a nice scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. I know my dad would love this. Thanks.

  • Nic
    July 18, 2006

    Miriam – No, you can’t simply substitute blueberries with figs. Blueberries are very juicy and it is their juice that makes the sauce. You might be able to use another berry, or play around with the proportions using more sugar, more liquid and different fruits.

  • Cathy
    July 18, 2006

    Yum – that sounds fantastic. I’ve never seen dumplings cooked in a fruit sauce before, but I love the idea!

  • aggiebot5
    July 19, 2006

    Oh, my! That looks scrumptious! Unfortunately, blueberries are $2.50 per cup– on sale!–here in TX right now, and it’s the cheapest they’ll be all year. Might have to do it anyway, though….

  • Ivonne
    July 19, 2006

    Nic,

    That is absolutely gorgeous! The colours … and the sauce …

    I want some blueberries right now!

  • doodles
    July 19, 2006

    now this recipe is exactly why blueberries were invented. look at that gorgeouse, scrumptious dish. Thanks for the recipe….I love summer fruits!

  • Julie
    July 20, 2006

    This is such an original recipe! I love that you don’t use a lot of sugar in your sauce or dumplings. Thanks for the good idea…blueberries are my favorite!

  • Tanna
    July 21, 2006

    I was very lucky in life, my auntie raised me on buttermilk.
    Blueberries and buttermilk and a dumpling! I was really surprized that they really cook like a dumpling. This sounds really fun. And oh my goodness with a little scoop of vanilla…

  • Mark
    July 21, 2006

    That picture brings back memories. My great grandmother used to make this — and called it Blueberry Grunt. Not sure if that’s a Nova Scotia thing or not. Whatever you call it, it tastes great.

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