Blackberry Grunt

Our fields are alive... not with the sound of music, but the glory of berries. The wild raspberries were a healthy crop this year, not the blood letting usual that brought in a meager pint. We served up fruity oatmeal in the morning, fruity salad at lunch and tasty desserts after dinner. No complaints.
Now the dew berries are thick and jet black full of their individual globes of pulp and ready to be picked. They are the precursor to the blackberries: the ultimate gift of the land. We don't have to work for them, the plants are wild, full and laden. It's a walk in the park... or the back acres to pick buckets of these beauties. We do that daily until mid August. These blackberries are the reason we had to buy another freezer! And they are well worth it too.
This is Dale's ultimate recipe. He has tweaked it after finding it in a James Beard cookbook. It just gets better and better! Hope you have the opportunity to try this one out. The molasses in the grunt adds an unusual aroma, and is perfect with the tart berries.

Blackberry Grunt
3 c blackberries
1/3 c Splenda
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 slight 1/4 c molasses
2 T lemon juice
Biscuit crust
1 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 T butter
1 T vegetable shortening
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 c milk

Wash and pick over the berries and spread then in a deep 9 " oval dish. Combine the sugar and spices and sprinkle over the berries. Dribble the molasses over them and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Bake the berries at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, or just until they begin to render juice. Remove the pan from the oven. Increase the oven temp to 425.
Combine the dry ingredients for the biscuit. With a pastry blender, blend in butter and shortening. Stir in the egg and milk. Drop the dough by tablespoons over the berries and spread it to cover. Bake 29 minutes or until the biscuit crust is well browned. Serve hot with cream, or ice cream.

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