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Blueberries with Sweet Dumplings

April 19, 2010

SoupAddict has been obsessed with blueberries ever since purchasing her blueberry bushes. So, in prep for her first harvest, she’s been gathering up recipes for deluscious blueberry desserts.

(Did you catch SoupAddict makin’ up words? “Delucious”: delicious and luscious, all rolled into one.)

Blueberries with sweet dumplings is a dish served hot, a most welcome treat on chilly Spring nights.

This is a wonderful dessert to serve a small, intimate crowd. It takes a half-hour, but only a few minutes of hands-on work, which makes it the perfect project for everyone to gather in the kitchen and kibitz while the perfume of simmering blueberries scents the air.

Mmm, beautiful blueberries, rinsed and picked over for stems (a few always manage to make it in there, the little devils).
SoupAddict’s blueberry bushes are busy blooming lovely white flowers. Each bloom will be a plump, delicious blueberry sometime in June.

(If you, too, have decided to grow blueberries, take that note that the little, less-than-a-foot-tall blueberry plants you normally find at nurseries and garden centers are only in their first year of growth, which means they will not produce a harvest this year. You’ll need at least a two-year-old plant to produce berries in the first year. SoupAddict was beyond thrilled when she came across an entire stock of toddler blueberry bushes at her local Home Depot. Also note that for most varieties, you will need two bushes for optimal pollination.)

Freshly ground nutmeg makes the world go ’round, is SoupAddict’s philosophy.
SoupAddict has been doing a lot of experimentation with alternate sweeteners, including honey, and this blue agave nectar. “Is SoupAddict giving up sugar?” you gasp. No way. SoupAddict is simply looking for ways to cut down on sugar, without sacrificing flavor.
Curses, fake-light photography! The buttermilk in this recipe is absolutely creamy and divine, but it somehow looks like skimpy skim milk in this photo. Ah well.
The dumpling batter is thick and wonderful, scented with nutmeg and vanilla, and came together in mere minutes.
A little cornstarch in water will quickly thicken the blueberry sauce.
SoupAddict did not exactly adhere to the “golfball-size” directions in the recipe. No matter. These rustic dumplings were adorable in the bowl.
Now put the lid on and let the dumplings cook for 10 minutes. No peeking.
No, no, no. SoupAddict said, “No peeking!”
Because SoupAddict’s golfball-sized dumplings were actually lime-sized, she let them cook for 12 minutes before lifting the lid and poking them with a spoon.
Serve all of this blueberry goodness in a bowl, to catch every drop..
A scoop of vanilla ice cream? Yes, please.
SoupAddict is positively giddy with all of the blueberry goodness going on here.
Blueberries with Dumplings
adapted from Baking Bites
For the blueberries:
3 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons agave nectar (or sugar)
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1 squeeze half a lemon
For the dumplings:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, ground
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the blueberries: In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until most of the berries have popped. Add the lemon zest a good squeeze of half of a lemon, if using. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture and cook for an addition minute, unti lthe syrup thickens slightly. Turn heat to a low simmer and cover.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add in the vanilla and gradually add in the buttermilk, stirring until the dough comes together. The final dough should be wetter than a scone dough, but thicker than waffle or pancake batter. If too dry, add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Drop golf-ball sized dollops of dough into the blueberry sauce, leaving 1/2″ of space between each. Cover the saucepan and cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on ths size of your dough balls), until the dumplings spring back slightly when you poke them with a spoon. Scoop out, along with some sauce, and serve immediately – alone or with ice cream.

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6 Comments
  1. April 19, 2010 7:23 pm

    oh – yummy. Thank you as always. As I have no blueberry plant to snatch the berries from, and as they are ridiculously expensive here even in peak season, I think I will try and substitute strawberries for them, or maybe a frozen berry mix (although I prefer fresh to frozen any time). What about it? I know it will be different, but it should taste good as well. What do you think?

  2. SoupAddict permalink
    April 20, 2010 9:09 am

    I don’t see why not. You’re basically making a sort of jam with the blueberries, so, it should work with any berry. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. April 20, 2010 4:21 pm

    That looks wonderful. I love blueberries!!

    Reminds me a little of a recipe my mother in law made years ago for a Welsh dish she called “merb tigue” I’ve never been able to find a recipe for it, but it was basically blackberries with shortbread on top of it and then baked…

    Maybe I’ll have to experiment with that this summer…

  4. SoupAddict permalink
    April 20, 2010 9:26 pm

    One of my very favorite desserts is blueberry shortcake with whipped cream (homemade, of course). Regardless of how many blueberries I actually get from my own plants, I can’t wait for the local harvests to come in!

  5. shipwrek permalink
    May 15, 2010 8:26 pm

    I have made this twice now. It is so delicious!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe

  6. DLean permalink
    August 11, 2010 3:50 pm

    This dish looks absolutely “Delucious” lol 🙂 I was wondering do you think I could use Bisquick with similar results? If so, how much would I use and should still use Buttermilk or Whole milk? Thanks

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