New England Blueberry Slump

I’ve been meaning to make a slump or grunt for ages. It’s blueberry time here in New Hampshire and faced with a large batch from the farmer’s market, I decided now was the time.

The recipe is super easy and very tasty. The Food Timeline website says that following about slumps:

“Slump. A dish of cooked fruit and raised dough known since the middle of the eighteenth century and probably so called because it is a somewhat misshapen dish that “slumps” on the plate. Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, named her Concord, Massachusetts, home “Apple Slump.”

In another lifetime, I was the Executive Director of Orchard House, the home Louisa fondly called Apple Slump. The home was aptly named, first for its surrounding apple orchard, and second because the house certainly did slump! Built in the late 1600s, even in Louisa’s day the house was a bit ramshackle.

But I digress. Here’s a recipe for blueberry slump from one of my favorite cook books, The New England Yankee Cook Book, 1939 by Imogene Wolcott.


I’m pretty sure that if I could only choose one book to take with me to a desert island it would be this one. Of course, it would be problematic since last time I checked, desert islands don’t have things like maple syrup, molasses, cranberries and pumpkin – all New England staples. But at least I could read about my favorite foods.

Here’s the recipe, which according to the cookbook came from Mrs. Maude S. Newcomb, Portland, ME. According to,  in 1920 Maude was a stenographer in a lawyer’s office. By the 1930 census she was divorced, renting, and not working.

Here’s Maude’s recipe:

  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk (about – enough to make a wet dough)

Stewing blueberries with dumplings

Stew blueberries, sugar and water in a large flat pan. Let them gently boil. (Dan suggested adding some cinnamon)

Meanwhile mix and sift flour, baking powder and salt.

Add milk stirring quickly to make a dumpling dough that will drop from the end of a spoon (I had to add more milk)

Drop dough onto the boiling blueberries.

Cook 10 minutes with cover off.

Cook another 1o minutes with cover on.

Serve with plain or whipped cream.

Finished - might have been better in a smaller pan


The recipe goes on to say to make Apple Sump substitute apples for blueberries.

Stew 6 well-flavored apples with 1/4 c. molasses, 1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 c. water. Proceed as above.



One Response to “New England Blueberry Slump”

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  1. Bev says:

    Yum! Want to send me some? Ummmmmmm! Is 1o mean 10 minutes? That loooks really good! We’ll have to try it!
    You know, I thought maybe Aunt Lil had given up! It seems like such a long time since she’s been on!

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