If you are looking for the perfect way to celebrate rhubarb season, look no further than this Rhubarb Grunt recipe. Filled with seasonal fruits and a fluffy biscuit dough, this Springtime dessert will have you coming back for more.
Whenever rhubarb season comes rolling around, I find myself brainstorming creative and delicious ways to make use of this early Spring harvest.
Rhubarb is integral in our Spring cuisine in the Northeast, likely due to our British influence, and I started to wonder if I could incorporate it into one of our favorite Summertime dishes: blueberry grunt.
This strawberry rhubarb grunt is a take on the popular original recipe featuring blueberries, but it really holds its own! I say it tastes very similar to a saucy rhubarb cake or a cobbler. The addition of strawberries balances the tartness and creates a beautiful red color.
What is a Grunt?
"The majority of early desserts were made from the fruits that grew wild and in abundance. A common method was to stew them and add dumplings. Most often referred to as “grunt”, sometimes as “slump” or “fungy”, it often constituted the entire meal. Made with apples, rhubarb, strawberries, and most popular of all was blueberry grunt."
Why You'll Love It:
- It's easy to make! Everything is cooked in one pot on the stovetop.
- An easy rhubarb dessert recipe that's ready in 30-40 minutes.
- Tastes delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- A great way to use up smaller amounts of fruit you have leftover from making strawberry rhubarb pies or other fruit desserts.
- Rhubarb: While fresh rhubarb is best, frozen is totally fine too! Just let them thaw a bit on the counter beforehand.
- Strawberries: You'll want 3 ½ cups of hulled and chopped strawberries, which is a little less than 2 quarts.
- Lemon juice: For balance.
- Sugar: Feel free to reduce the white sugar in this recipe slightly, but rhubarb is definitely on the tart side so it can need a little extra oomph.
- Water: prevents sticking and helps to stew the fruit.
For the dumpling dough:
- Flour: All purpose flour works great!
- Baking powder: For providing rise to the dumplings while they steam.
- Butter: You'll need small pieces (cubes) of cold butter for cutting into the flour mixture. Lard or shortening can be used in its place.
- Milk: I prefer whole milk, but you can use whatever you have on hand. The important thing is that it is cold.
- Sugar: A little bit is added to the dough so you don't have two distinct layers of savory and sweet.
- Salt: A little bit added to sweet dishes helps enhance the existing flavors. If you used unsalted butter, add a pinch or so extra.
Cookie scoop (optional): This is my preferred way of portioning dough, but you can use a heaping tablespoon if you don't happen to have one.
How to Make Rhubarb Grunt
Step one: Add the chopped rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, water, and 1 ¼ cups of sugar to a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid.
Step two: Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
HINT: Make sure to maintain the fruit at a low simmer. If the pot is spitting, try reducing the heat gradually until you get a gentle simmer.
Making the Dumpling Dough
While the strawberries and rhubarb are cooking, prepare the biscuit dough that will be dropped on top of the simmering fruit.
Step three: Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and ¼ cup sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Step four: Drop the cold cubed butter (lard, or shortening) into the flour mixture.
Step five: Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (or two forks) until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Step six: Gradually add in the milk, mixing to combine after each addition.
Step seven: Keep adding the milk, a little at a time, until it comes together into a sticky dough that can easily be scooped.
Dropping the Dough into the Fruit
Step six: Once the strawberries and rhubarb are soft and released their liquid, you're ready to add the biscuit dough to the simmering fruit.
Step seven: Use a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon to drop portions of dough on top of the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
Steaming the Dumplings
Step eight: Place the lid on the Dutch oven (or large pot) and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes on low to low-medium heat - no peaking allowed!
BONUS: For a crunchy topping, try adding a sprinkle of brown sugar or caster sugar.
Step nine: Once the time is up, remove the lid and check that the dumplings are cooked through with golden brown edges. Serve warm.
NOTE: The most accurate way to check if your dumplings are cooked through is by checking the internal temperature. Biscuits and breads need to reach a minimum of 210ºF or 99ºC.
What to Serve with Rhubarb Grunt
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream
- A drizzle of heavy cream
- Sliced strawberries
- Whipped cream
- Clotted cream
Storing and Reheating
While rhubarb grunt is meant to be eaten in a single sitting, you can definitely store the leftovers and reheat them if needed.
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container (glass if possible - so the fruit doesn't stain it), and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Microwave: Reheat in 45-second intervals until completely warmed through.
- Stovetop: Transfer the leftovers to a lidded pot and add a splash of water. Heat over medium-low heat until warmed through.
- Butter - If you don't have any butter on hand, you can substitute it for cold lard, cold shortening, or baking-style chilled margarine (the type that comes in blocks).
- Gluten-Free - Substitute the flour for a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour like Bob's Red Mill.
- Milk - This is for added richness. If you don't have milk on hand you could use dairy-free milk, cream, or even water
- Blueberry grunt - This is the most popular "grunt" of them all. My blueberry grunt recipe was one of the first recipes on my blog!
- Rhubarb grunt - While I think strawberry-rhubarb is a winning combo, you can substitute the strawberries in this recipe for additional rhubarb and scale up the sugar to your liking.
- Strawberry grunt - Replace the chopped rhubarb with additional strawberries and reduce the sugar slightly.
If you loved this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Grunt, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card, OR tag me on Instagram @maritimecountrykitchen!
Strawberry Rhubarb Grunt
- 3 ½ cups chopped strawberries hulls removed
- 3 ½ cups chopped rhubarb leaves and ends removed
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups flour spooned and leveled
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter cold and cubed (or shortening*)
- ¾-1 cup milk cold
- Add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and water to a large saucepan with a lid OR a Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Reduce to low-medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the strawberries and rhubarb pieces are soft and have released their liquid. Skim any foam that rises to the top.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the cold butter cubes, and cut them in with a pastry cutter (or two forks) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (pea-sized or smaller).
- Add in a small amount of milk and mix to combine. Keep adding a small amount of milk until the mixture comes together into a soft and sticky dumpling dough that can be easily scooped.
- Drop the batter on top of the simmering strawberry and rhubarb mixture using a heaping tablespoon or cookie scoop, distributing the dough evenly over the surface.
- Place the lid on your saucepan (or Dutch oven) and allow it to simmer over low-medium heat for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
- Once the time is up, lift the lid to check and see that the dough is cooked through.
- Serve immediately with a generous dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.