Saturday, July 11, 2009

Slumps and Grunts!

Don't you love all that fresh fruit available now that summer is in full swing! Our berry bushes are just going crazy! So everyday I've been berry pickin in my own backyard. What could be more fun!

I love baking and I really enjoy baking with fresh fruit. At least I feel somewhat healthy eating a dessert who's main ingredient is fruit! Then it counts towards you daily food pyramid guidelines right? Aren't we supposed to eat something like 9 servings of fruit now?

So what do slumps and grunts have to do with fruit? They're funny names for a type of fruit dessert! A slump or grunt cooks on top of the stove (although slumps can also be made in the oven) and has a dumpling like topping. Love that! This way I don't have to heat up my kitchen making a yummy dessert!

I found this wonderful book "Rustic Fruit Desserts" by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. It has the recipes organized by season so you can always bake with what's available fresh (or you can do frozen or canned). That's where I found a recipe for slump. I never knew what a slump was before! According to her a slump can be made with "whatever fruit you have on hand". So I made a blueberry/blackberry slump!

This is the recipe that appears in the book and was the recipe of the week from Crown Publishing Stone Fruit Slump.

I wound up not using that recipe because it calls for cake flour and I didn't have any cake flour and I didn't want to run to the store to buy any cake flour! But it got me searching on the internet and this is the recipe I used. Gingered Berry Grunt

Oh My Gosh It was sooooo good! You've got to try it! I'm sure using cake/pastry flour for the dumpling would have made it a lighter less dense dumpling but I liked it anyway!

The ginger in the dumpling topping is such a wonderful flavor! I made half the recipe to try it out so you could even just make it for one or two people!

Speaking of ginger....I'm growing my own! I bought a ginger plant a few weeks ago from a vendor at our town's Farmer's Market. It's going to stay in the pot until fall so I have time to think of where it's permanent spot will be.

Now for a bit of trivia for us Little Women/Louisa May Alcott fans:

"It is known that Apple Slump was a popular dessert in her day, and a favorite of the Alcott family. And because of the lovable -- but homely -- character of both the dessert and the house, Louisa nicknamed Orchard House "Apple Slump", so the dish does have a special connection to her."

"Little Women" is my all time favorite book and I keep this postcard of Orchard House on my bulletin board above my desk.

Possibly Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump
Serving Size: 8

6 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Toss together the apples, sugar and spices and place in a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
While this is baking, prepare the topping, starting by sifting together the dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix the egg, milk and butter and add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring till just combined. Spread the topping over apples and bake at 350F for an additional 25 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Sept.2000 The Concord Magazine

Somehow we've gone from berry pickin to slumps and grunts, to growing ginger, a book review and some Alcott thrown in! I think I'll stop now LOL!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great weekend everyone!


Storybook Woods said...

I really count on this type of thing to feed my family. I am busy filling up my freezer with berries. I love this type of thing for breakfast. You will have to try the Possibly Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump, thanks xoxo Clarice

Melanie said...

That looks delicious!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Looks so good. Fresh out of the garden is always better.

glorv1 said...

Oh man, that looks good. I love berries like that. We have a lot of berries and especially wild mulberrys but I can't pick them all. The birds get to them before we can so we end up with a blue mess on the ground. That looks delish, thanks Manuela. Have a great weekend.

Vee said...

Any recipe that tastes delish, uses fresh fruits and berries, and doesn't heat up the kitchen has got to be a good thing. I well remember Blueberry Grunts, but they were always baked. I'd be interested to find a recipe for the stove top.

Sharon said...

I stock up with berries during the summer as well. The recipes look so good! Thank you for sharing Manuela!

I love Little Women too and will have to give that Apple Slump recipes a try

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Sharon :)

Rhondi said...

Hi Manuela
Thanks for sharing the recipe for slump. It looks delicious and definitely worth trying! Lucky you to be able to pick fruit in your backyard. We have too much sahde to grow any food. Hope you're enjoying a good weekend.
Hugs, Rhondi

Darlene said...

It looks soooo good and how neat to grow your own berries!!! How NEAT!

june@craftyniche said...

Recipe looks yummy!

Lady Katherine said...

I just love slump and grunts! The desert looked wonderful! Now are you going to plant the ginger in the ground? I was not sure if I could, for the cold weather. I bought a ginger root at the Grocery. Kept it in the plastic bag wrapped around it and eyes formed on it. I cut them off and I have one Ginger plant growing in a pot! I am so happy! My little granddaughter pulled it up out of the pot a week ago! I replanted the plant and it doing great! Send me some blueberries!

Becky K. said...


You have made my mouth water!!! Yikes your berry Slump..or was that a Grunt? ...anyway, whichever looks amazing!

Happy Picking.

Becky K.

scrappy quilter said...

That looks so yummy. I just might try it later in the summer when we have more fruit available.

Bella said...

It all looks and sounds delicious. I can't wait to try the apple slump recipe.

Manuela said...

You're going to have to share with us what your ginger plant looks like in a few weeks/months. I'm very interested! ;)
And that dish, oh my, looks delicious!

She'sSewPretty said...

That recipe looks so good. I wish we were neighbors. I'd trade you some grapes for some of those berries. Yum!

Cathy said...

Little Women is my favorite book too. We lived in the town next to Concord, MA several years and I was able to tour Orchard House and purchase my lovely copy of Little Women from the shop there! I went to see the musical Little Women with 2 friends and discovered neither of them had read the book! horrors

Amy {The Red Chair Blog} said...

What a neat post! Berries = yum!

I especially liked the Little Women reference, as my given first name is Amy Beth (my mom was inspired by the names of two of the Little Women). I've met a few other Amy Beths who have also been named for the Little Women :)


Cyndi's Re-Creations said...

Oh it looks so good!! and I love the idea of the recipe book arranging recipe by season I've often thought of doing that with my recipe box. it just makes sense to me.

jenjen said...

Hi Manuela,
Wow - that berry stump looks amazing! I had to take most of our raspberry bushes out last year when we did some yard remodeling. I am really missing them!

Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious. Luckily my apple tree is doing well. I am excited to try it out.


Tanya said...

I've never tried slump but now I'll have to because it looks delicious. I bought fresh ginger from the Farmer's market and made ginger and lemongrass iced tea (with honey). It was sooo good!

Brenda said...

And I love the red and white bowls too! I adore blueberries and eat them every morning on my cereal if I can manage to find good fresh ones. Why, I need to plant my own blueberry bush, now don't I?

Anonymous said...

Our berry vines are done for the year. I have never planted blueberries. I hope to next year. There are types now for our exta hot weather. Do you have two bushes? I read they usually need two to polinate. I am trying to study where I have the room for I hope one but maybe I will need two bushes. I think one would provide enough for the two of us once they started to produce though. Manuela how you come up with so many extra good ideas for your home is beyond me! So pretty. And for next to nothing but tallent and time!!! You and only you Could make a purse out of a sows ear!! Jody

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Love Little Women (I grew up trying to get my mother to change my name to Jo!) I'm not sure that I've ever heard of Slump, but it sure looks fabulous. I'm going to have to try this. It's a shame I'll have to go buy my fruit for it at the market. You are amazing! laurie

ellie said...

so funny your posting this as I was just enjoying some blackberries with a bit of whip cream...ok a lot of whip cream...I got to try that recipe..

Jo - To a Pretty Life said...

Your "slump" looks delicious! It's probably similar to the apple dumpling dish my mom used to make.

Tracey McBride said...

Please forgive me for being a little late in commenting on this post, but I am just now sneaking some time to catch up after a busy summer!! Like you, Louisa Mae Alcott is my very favorite author and re-reading her books are like visiting old friends and places. I love the Apple Slump recipe :)--we visited Orchard House as a child (5th grade) when we lived in Massachusetts. I still have the Orchard House edition of "Little Men" (loved, loved, loved it, read and re-read the "Patty Pans" chapter, over and over again). All your posts are amazing Manuela, but this one resonated with me more than you'll know. Thank you again for the lovely work you do and for sharing your life and ideas with us. xoxoxo Traceyxoxoxo