Black Cherry Grunt

A traditional desert from the East Coast and Canada going back to colonial times, with a biscuit-like topping. Listen for the "grunting" sound that the berries make when they cook!
Photography By D. Lucas Landis | July 03, 2015


Combine the fruit, sugar and water in a large saucepan or large iron skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 4–6 minutes, until fruit is soft and begins to thicken.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix in. Add the milk slowly until you have a soft dough. Drop the dough by spoonfuls on top of the cherries. Cover the pan immediately and cook over low to medium heat for 15–20 minutes. Do not remove the lid for 15 minutes. If the dumplings are not done when you check them, re-cover the pan and continue to cook.

Serve warm or chilled with cream or whipped cream.


Serves 4–6

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  • 3 cups black cherries, washed and pits removed
  • ¼-½ cup of sugar, depending upon fruit’s tartness
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • Whole cream or whip
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