Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Grunt with Vegan Oatmeal Dumplings

Blueberry Grunt with Oatmeal Dumplings
A grunt is an unfortunate name for what it is. It is associated with slumps, cobblers and brown bettys. All are sorts of long forgotten American country style fruit desserts. Im still not sure what a slump is, but I have learned what a grunt is. Basically is is dumplings steamed in fruit. Lets be honest, who doesn't just love dumplings?
I do, I do!

Grunts are perfect for summer desserts because, you don't have to turn on the oven! They are cooked in a pot on the stovetop, and all in about 15 minutes on mostly low heat. Even on the hottest of days that is doable. Much better than cranking up your oven for an hour in July.

Making millet and oatmeal dumplings

It is quite similar to a biscuit cobbler, the dumplings are the consistency of the underside of the biscuits, without a crunchy top. It goes well with ice cream too. 

Once you have made one, the whole concept and recipe are easily adapted to other fruits and even messing with the dumplings themselves. I made these today from millet flour and oatmeal for a lot of nutritional value. The traditional recipes are always made from regular flour. And I have made them with quinoa flour and even corn flour (which is delicious). AP gluten free baking flour or buckwheat would be good too. 

You will see in the photos I added in some pitted cherries I had laying around needing to be used and lime zest, since this week the limes were cheaper than the lemons. The prices of citrus fruit has gone crazy this summer, so I am always sure to get the most out of what I have, both zest and juice!

Blueberry Grunt with Oatmeal Dumplings

For the fruit base:
4 cups blueberries
zest of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt

For the dumplings:
3/4 cup millet flour (or all purpose flour)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon Coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Grated fresh nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)
zest of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk

Mix the ingredients for the fruit base in a medium saucepan which has a well fitting lid. Mine is about 8 inches across, it would be find in a 6 inch pan also. Nothing much larger. 

Measure the dry ingredients for the dumplings into a bowl or glass measuring cup. Measure the wet ones into another. Mix them together with a fork, so all the dry spots are incorporated. It will be a stiff and rather crumbly mixture. 

Put the pot of berries on the stove, turning the flame to high. Hang around for the minute or two until it begins to boil. Give the fruit a good stir and turn the heat down to a bare simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes. (if using harder fruit like apples or rhubarb, simmer for 5 minutes). 

Take the dumpling batter and drop dollops of it all over the top of the fruit. A spoon is helpful here. When all the dumpling batter is set, put on the lid, nice and tight. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and make sure the heat is at the lowest simmer setting. Now you can walk away to do important things for 15 minutes. 

When the timer begs you to return, take off the lid, and voila! Boiling fruit seeping through risen dumplings. Allow to cool just a bit before tucking in, it should be eaten warm. Clearly vanilla or ginger ice cream would be fun. Thick cream or coconut milk poured over would be cool too. You can even eat is as breakfast!

Notes on Re-heating: best reheated in the same pot, with lid on, for about 5 minutes on medium low heat. Until the fruit just boils again and it is warm through. Microwave would probably be good too.

Notes on using Frozen Berries: Totally yes. Instead of 1/2 cup of water, use 1/4-1/3 cup. You can put the frozen berries directly into the pot and onto the heat. It will take longer to come to a boil, from then on follow the same steps. 

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