Blueberry and Orange Slump

Sometimes it’s called a slump, sometimes it’s called a grunt, but silly name aside, this New England classic is a quick and easy blueberry dessert made on top of the stove.

Blueberry season has arrived in Southern Vermont and that means high summer! What could be better than a blueberry plucked fresh and popped in the mouth? Since I was a child, the ritual of blueberry picking has been an important part of my summer. It still is.


There was an old abandoned farm house where we picked when I was a child. Mom and Gram hung little buckets and baskets around our necks with clothesline, and off we’d go. I’m not sure if as many berries ended up in the bucket as in our tummies, but we had a great time trying. When we got home, it was berries and cream with a little sugar, and Mom would make blueberry pie, jam, muffins, ice cream, cobbler, all kinds of treats from the gift of the berries.

A summer ritual

I took my own children picking, and my grandchildren now, and they love it as much as we did. Of course, part of the ritual is reading “Blueberries for Sal,” a 1948 classic by Robert McCloskey, a wonderful story about berry picking with the addition of a little bear. My daughter especially loves this story because the kitchen in the book reminds her of one of her childhood homes with my wood cook stove.

“Blueberries for Sal,” by Robert McCloskey, 1948.

Although my mother preferred to make a pie or a cobbler, once in a while she would put together a quick blueberry slump in the heat of the season to keep from turning on the oven!

A cobbler or a slump?

The only real difference between a cobbler and a slump is that the slump is cooked on top of the stove rather than baked. The biscuits or dumplings are steamed in the berry jam, and come out soft and tender, like a blueberry flavored cloud, and they “slump” into the fruit. I used my grandmother’s, or maybe even great-grandmother’s, dumpling recipe that she used for her maple simmered dumplings. I thought they were similar applications, and my only change to her recipe was to add a bit of brown sugar to the dough.

Rather than using water with the berries, I opted to use orange juice to boost the flavor, and I love orange and blueberry together, almost as much as I love lemon and blueberry.

You can use gluten-free flour, and make this dairy free.

Blueberry and Orange Slump


  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • ½ tsp. ground anise

For the dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • Scant tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ stick of cold butter, cubed, or vegan butter
  • ¾ to 1 cup chilled milk, plant milk is fine

Heat a large skillet with tight fitting lid over medium high. Add the berries, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and anise.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. It will have thickened, but will continue to do so as we cook longer with the dumplings.

Add the dumplings to the bubbling blueberries, and cover for the full 20 minutes.

While the filling cooks make your dumplings. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Add the chilled butter and using a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers, combine leaving textured chunks.

Add the milk and gently mix with your fingers or a wooden spoon just until combined. Start with the ¾ cup milk, it will probably be enough, but if for some atmospheric condition we can’t predict the dough is too dry, add a bit more at a time until you get a soft consistency that will keep its shape when dropped.

Use a small ice-cream scoop to form uniform dumplings and drop them in the simmering blueberries. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes. My mom always said no peeking when dumplings are steaming!

Serve with a little unsweetened cream or coconut cream, or ice cream on the side.

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42 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks so good! definitely going to try this one!!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it! Everyone here loves this!

  2. I have never heard of this recipe, but it looks amazing and it comes with lots of good memories for you. I sure wish we were neighbors – I’m a really good taste tester. 🙂

    1. Ah, you’re never far away if you’re in Nrw England!

  3. Angela says:

    I love these old-fashioned New England recipes.

    1. They are always comforting!

  4. Who doesn’t love blueberries picking? 🤪🤪 fun time!
    My grandma had the wood cook stove too and what delicious dishes she used to do! Such sweet memories!
    It looks so so delicious 😋

    1. Ah thank you! The best dishes come from the memories!

  5. CarolCooks2 says:

    Love blueberries and I know about not lifting the lid…sigh…My dumplings which always were lovely and light in the Uk are dismal failures here I have tried everything and always get this greasy lump…I haven’t tried using butter are they light and airy? 🙂

    1. Yes, they are beautifully soft! I use this dumpling recipe (minus the sugar) for everything, when I make the husband’s favorite chicken and dumplings, or my grandmothers maple dumplings. Give it a try with the butter, and no lifting the lid!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        I’m with you on that about the lid, Dorothy but I will take your advice and give the butter a try…I love sound of maple dumplings 🙂

      2. It sounds terribly sweet, but they are not as sweet as you’d think. The recipe is on my blog, Mémé’s Maple Boiled Dumplings.

  6. Love such fruity desserts. So refreshing and suitable for the season. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! And I love that it is really not too sweet a dessert.

  7. Looks delicious

    1. Thank you! They are quite nice, and not too sweet.

  8. I call it “Yumolicious”. 💜💜💜

    1. I love that word!😄

  9. Very refreshing

    1. An filled with memories!

  10. This sounds so good! {I am eating a blueberry pancake as I read this!} You have inspired me!

    1. Ah, thanks! Blueberry pancakes sound pretty awesome too!

  11. Looking forward to a Monday reblog! Hope that your week is winding down well, Dorothy!🌺👍

  12. Nourish says:

    This looks delicious! I’ve never heard of a slump before, but with blueberries in season in CT, I look forward to trying it.

    1. Thank you! I do hope you enjoy it.

  13. These look amazing, Dorothy. I’ve never eaten a sweet dumpling.

    1. They are not as sweet as they look, but still definitely dessert!

  14. Sandhya says:

    This looks so good. We live in Massachusetts and Vermont is one of my favorite places to visit.

    1. Well, hello there neighbor! I have had many fond experiences in your lovely state as well!

  15. Sherry M says:

    what a fabulous name for this dessert!

    1. I know! Both names, slump and grunt, are pretty crazy!

  16. This looks really yummy!!

    1. Thank you so much Helena! Our family really enjoys this when berry season rolls around!

      1. I bet! And what great names it goes by!!

      2. I know, I love the silly names they used. My favorite is Rum Tum Diddy!

  17. wow! this looks delicious! i should definitely try it out. thank you for sharing🤍

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

  18. maitridojo says:

    Ooh, great idea to add orange to this! I’ve made it just with the blueberries and my whole family loved it. We’ll to try the orange-scented variety next time. Thanks for the idea! 😀

    1. Thanks! I hope you love it as much as we did!

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