Serves 6 to 8
Blackberry Grunt? What’s that. Cobblers, grunts, slumps and skips; all old fashion names for what you most likely know just as cobblers. They are basically all the same with slight variations. Cobblers got their name from their crust, which is made of biscuit dough instead of pie crust, and resembles a cobbled street. A cobbler was usually made of the harder and larger fruits, like apples, quince or peaches. Grunts and slumps are basically the same thing except were are traditionally made of soft fruits like berries. The name “grunt,” came from the sound they often made as they cooled, and “slump,” comes from the fact that they would sort of slump down as they cooled and the fruit shrunk a bit. A skip is a bit different. To make a skip, instead of biscuit dough, you pour a batter over the top which was as easy as a, “hop, skip and a jump.” These desserts were farm house creations, made during the busy harvest season in the Autumn when the housewife didn’t have the time to mess about with rolling out pie crust, yet still had to make desserts for a horde of hungry farm workers. They were usually large being made in vessels other than traditional pie pans. My mother made her cobblers and the like in the bottom half of the turkey roaster. The recipe below is for a much smaller version. It will make approximately an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 inch pan.
About 8 to 10 cups of berries
About 1 cup of sugar, or to taste
About 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1 recipe Farmhouse Buttermilk Biscuits
Egg wash – (1 raw egg beaten lightly with one tablespoon of cold water)
Raw, Turbinado or Demerrara sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Pick over the berries to remove any stems and leaves, rinse in cold water and drain well. Add sugar to taste and set aside while you make the biscuits. When ready to assemble, gently mix the flour with the berries and pour them into your baking pan. Pat the dough into a disk about one inch thick and cut into two-inch biscuits. Cover the berries with the biscuits, placing them in such a manner that they are just barely touching each other. Paint the biscuits with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with raw sugar. Place in the middle of the pre-heated oven with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake for forty-five minutes to an hour, or until the biscuits are golden and fluffy and the juices are bubbling up through the crust. Immediately upon removing from the oven, paint the top generously with bakers syrup. Serve hot or at room temperature, but if serving hot, do allow to cool for about five minutes first or you will burn your mouth. This is absolutely scrumptious served with a bit of thick cream poured over the top or a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.