Every year about this time, here in southern British Columbia, the push is on to pick blackberries. Blackberries are a perennial and a relative of the raspberry. This plant grows wild along side our roads and in sunnier parts along the edges of fields and forests. They also bramble meaning they have a long vine that travels up fences and over other vegetation with very sharp thorns.
Make sure you cover yourself well if going picking. I saw one woman with a neat idea for a hands free bucket for picking berries. She had an old belt and had cut the top off a milk jug leaving the handle which she looped through the belt. This allows for hands free picking.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained) blackberries
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries and how sweet you would like your slump to be)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup water
- Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream for topping
1. Make the dumplings: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles a coarse meal.
Add the milk all at once and stir until the flour is just moistened. Handling the dough as little as possible, form into a ball. Set aside.
2. Heat berries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, water until boiling: In a 2-qt saucepan, add the berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring a few times so that the berries are well coated with the sauce.
3. Add chunks of dumpling dough: Once the berry mixture is boiling, tear off spoonful chunks from the dough ball and drop onto the fruit around the edges of the pot. You should have enough dough for 6 dumplings.
4. Cover and simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, without peeking at the dumplings.
Place dumplings in serving bowls and top with berries. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve hot or chilled.
** You can also interchange berries. Strawberries, blueberries.