Dumplings cook in a lightly sweetened and cinnamon-spiced blueberry sauce in this traditional Eastern Canadian favourite. Folklore suggests the dessert was named because of the grunting sounds it makes while cooking, but you might hear those sounds instead while it’s being eaten!


  • 3 cups (750 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole barley flour
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter, not softened
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 1% milk

In a large saucepan with lid, combine blueberries, 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar, water, lemon rind, lemon juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together barley flour, baking powder, 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender, or work it into the flour mixture with your hands, until mixture is coarse crumbs. Add milk, stirring until mixture comes together and forms a soft, wet dough.

Place 12 dollops of dough, about 1 Tbsp (15 mL) each, on blueberry sauce. Adjust heat so sauce is simmering very gently. Cover saucepan. Cook on low heat until dumplings are cooked through and slightly puffed, about 15 minutes, without lifting the lid.

Spoon into six serving dishes and serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

* Serve with a small scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 181; Protein: 1 g; Carbohydrate: 38 g; Fibre: 4 g; Sugars: 21 g; Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 1.5 g; Trans Fat: 0.1 g; Cholesterol: 6 mg; Sodium: 197 mg; Potassium: 93 mg