blackberry grunt

by Patricia on October 6, 2009 · 10 comments

blackberry grunt with ice cream

Blackberry grunt… or as it has become known around here, blackberry “hunrhrhh” (or “uuuunnnhhh” if you prefer Dan’s spelling). We discussed how to spell a grunt but didn’t reach a concensus. How would you spell a grunt?


Last Tuesday we had a birthday. Dan’s youngest turned eight years old. And believe it or not, he does not like cake (can you imagine anyone who doesn’t like cake?? I could live on cake. But then this isn’t about me.)…  So I asked him what he’d like for his birthday instead of cake: “Cobbler!” Hmm. Okay, I can make a cobbler but wouldn’t you prefer something else like monkey bread or a giant cookie or… or… But cobbler was the answer every time.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have loved me some cobbler over the years. But to me birthdays mean something chocolate, frosted and probably pink. But boys generally don’t like pink on their birthday cakes and this birthday boy wanted a cobbler. So I was going to make him one. That’s just how birthdays work.


I pondered cobbler for a couple of weeks. Mixed berries? Peach? How could I make it something special and not just another cobbler? Then as the day approached, I remembered that the humble cobbler has a few relatives with funny names like buckle, pandowdy, and… grunt. Hrhnnnhh.

In the end, the blackberry hrhnnnhh was a hit. And the birthday boy has already submitted a request for a raspberry hrnhnnhh for sometime soon.

blackberry grunt

Blackberry Grunt
(adapted from Alton Brown)

Grunts are sometimes called slumps. Personally I like the word grunt better because it comes with its own sound effect. Hurnhnnhh.

I replaced the ginger Alton Brown calls for with cinnamon because I didn’t have any ginger on hand. I think either would make a nice addition. The blackberries cook down into a jam-like consistency, so really it ends up being a warm, upside down biscuit with blackberry jam so why not have it breakfast?

Serves 6 to 8

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 pound frozen blackberries (or fresh if you can get them)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • cast iron skillet (or other heavy oven-safe pan)

1. Place a piece of foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drippings. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. [This part is just like making biscuits…] In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Work the butter into the flour with your hands (or a pastry blender) until it’s the texture of cornmeal-ish (some pieces of butter may still be pea-sized). Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon just until it comes together (I had to add a splash more buttermilk to get all of the flour mixed in).
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly flour a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Shape it into a ball, and wrap it up in the paper… set this in the refrigerator while you work on the filling.
4. Combine the berries, sugar, water, and cinnamon. Pour it into a 10-inch skillet and place over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low.
5. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. [It will still look pretty watery but that’s okay. It will cook down more in the oven]
6. Get your dough from the fridge. Drop by spoonfuls (or use a small ice cream scoop if you have it) on top of the blackberries… distribute it evenly (it’s okay to be sloppy here).
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 15-30 minutes before serving.
8. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

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1 Patricia October 12, 2009 at 10:10 am

@Cheri – you won’t be disappointed… unless you just don’t like buttermilk biscuits because that’s what the topping is most similar to, but then how could you not like biscuits? :)

2 Cheri October 11, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Yum! That looks delicious. I never tire of blackberries. I’ve never tried a grunt but I might have to try.

3 Brit Hammer October 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

Oooo. Then I will definitely get something going to bring me to SF. Have passport, will travel. Especially for some good eats!

4 Patricia October 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

@Brit – Come on over and I’ll make you a hnrnnnh. Strawberries usually start showing up in late spring around here at the farmers’ markets, so I’m sure we could make it work (else frozen would work in a pinch).

5 Brit Hammer October 8, 2009 at 2:23 am

Soooo funny! I wanna come to YOUR house for my next bday, Patricia. Will you make me a strawberry hrhnnnhh? (Are strawberries in season end May? I can’t remember.) You are toooo cute!

6 Patricia October 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

Thanks Maggie! Me too. Blackberries are definitely a favorite around here.

7 maggie October 7, 2009 at 7:22 am

Yum. Looks delicious—I love anything involving blackberries!

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