Blackberry Slump

DessertFavorite SummerQuick and EasyBerry

Blackberry Slump! Blackberries cooked on the stovetop with sugar and lemon, topped with dumplings.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever heard of a dessert called a slump? The Joy of Cooking defines a slump as “steamed fruit topped with dumplings”.

I first encountered the idea of a slump in a cookbook about the cooking of Newport, Rhode Island, in the first chapter on colonial cooking.

Apparently, this dessert goes back to colonial days. It’s synonymous with a “grunt”, and which word you use, slump or grunt, depends on the locale. In Rhode Island, slump is used. In Massachusetts, grunt is more common.

Etymology aside, what’s cool about slumps is that they are like cobblers, except they’re made on the stove-top instead of the oven, and they have dumplings instead of biscuits.

Blackberry Slump

Yes, berries cooked with sugar, topped with dumplings. (You should have seen my dad’s face when I explained the dessert I made for him. The way he lit up when the word “dumpling” was mentioned was priceless.)

Soft, fluffy dumplings, bathed in sweet, tart, ruby berries, and doused with cream.

Sigh.

Dad practically ate the whole batch!

This recipe uses blackberries because that’s what I happened to have, but you could use any berry. Traditionally in New England native blueberries are used. I do recommend serving this with cream or vanilla ice cream. Blackberries can be quite tart, which the cream can help cut.

Blackberry Slump Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

This recipe uses blackberries, but you could easily use any berry you would like, such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.

Ingredients

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Berries:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained) blackberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries and how sweet you would like your slump to be)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream for topping

Method

1 Make the dumplings: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles a coarse meal.

Add the milk all at once and stir until the flour is just moistened. Handling the dough as little as possible, form into a ball. Set aside.

2 Heat berries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, water until boiling: In a 2-qt saucepan, add the berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring a few times so that the berries are well coated with the sauce.

3 Add chunks of dumpling dough: Once the berry mixture is boiling, tear off spoonful chunks from the dough ball and drop onto the fruit around the edges of the pot. You should have enough dough for 6 dumplings.

4 Cover and simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, without peeking at the dumplings.

Place dumplings in serving bowls and top with berries. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve hot or chilled.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Blackberry Slump on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

Links:

Bilberry Blueberry from the Old Foodie

53 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBlackberry Slump

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Sam

    Has anybody tried this with self rising flour? Thinking about making this today!

  • Ginger

    I went in search of a stovetop dessert due to my oven not working. Made this with apples and apple juice instead of water. My husband said it’s a keeper!

  • William Goodwin

    well i followed everything exact, but double’d. Used Blue Bonnet butter specifically.
    Also compensated the berries with what was in my freezer and used 8 cups of fresh frozen cranberries, Instead of zing of the lemon i added pineapple juice as well as 1> 8 oz can of crushed pineapple. was absolutely amazing for cranberry enthusiasts.

  • Lysa

    I need 8 dumplings for a dinner. Would you simply double the dumpling dough recipe? In separate batches?

  • Traci Critser

    I am looking for this recipe for my sister-in-law. Her father used to make something like this when she was a little girl, almost 40 years ago. She remembers the blackberries being thickened. Does this just happen naturally with the pectin in the berries?

View More
Blackberry SlumpBlackberry Slump