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Mixed Berry & Cornmeal Slump

Named for their slumpy appearance, slumps and their kin, grunts and cobblers, are all rustic, juicy, cooked fruit desserts topped with a biscuit-like crust. With just one bite, you’ll dive right in. This slump recipe mixes blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, taking full advantage of the bounty of summer fruit.

Traditionally, both slumps and grunts are cooked on the stove top (to avoid turning on the oven in the summer). But slumps can also be baked, making them more like a cobbler. And while there’s much debate about the similarities and differences among these fruit desserts, one thing is clear, start with fresh fruit, and to avoid a tough topping, don’t overwork the dough. All in all, whatever name you give it, you’re gonna love it.


12 servings

Total Time

about 1 hour + cooling

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Test Kitchen Tip

If you prefer, you can use only one, or two types of berries, or follow the recipe and use all three. Just be sure to stick with three total pints of berries.


For the filling, heat 1 cup each blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, sugar, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until berries begin to break down, release their juices, and somewhat thicken, 15 minutes.

Whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice, then stir into berry mixture until it thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining berries; reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, for the dough, pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined.

Add butter to food processor; process until mixture resembles small peas. Add egg, vanilla, and zest; process until a dough forms.

Drop 7 mounds of dough, by about 3 Tbsp. (#20 scoop), onto filling, keeping dumplings from touching each other.

Cover skillet and cook slump until dumplings are cooked through, their tops are dry and not sticky, and a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating skillet 180-degrees halfway through. Let slump cool 10 minutes before serving.


To keep the slurry from clumping while thickening the slump, be sure to stir the filling while adding it.


For a lighter dumpling, pulse the butter into the flour mixture just until it’s pea-sized.


Drop the dough mounds a fair distance from each other — they’ll spread as they cook, and almost cover the skillet.


For even cooking, be sure to rotate the skillet 180-degrees halfway through cooking the slump.

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