Dewberry Dumplings

Because we have lots of new followers who know very little about Bayou Life, and because they came to be here due to “A Berry Good Education” being “Freshly Pressed”, I thought they might like to see one of the many things we do with these delights.  So, veteran readers, please indulge me in a repeat of this south Louisiana spring dessert.

Originally posted April 7, 2012.

Why, it’s dewberry dumplins, dahlin!  Oh, yes, it is!  Mastered in the Bayou Woman test kitchen on Good Friday and right to you in your homes less than 24 hours later.

Termite and I had to pick a few more berries to make enough for this delicious south Louisiana dessert.  I should be picking more berries in the cool of this morning, but I promised you a recipe, and I intend to deliver before the day gets away from me–and in time for your holiday meals.

Cobbler was the dewberry dessert of choice that my mom made for us, which I later cooked for my family.  However, down in south Louisiana (as opposed to north Louisiana) something called blackberry dumplings is the go-to recipe for these wild things.  I’ve tried recipes from a couple different ladies over the years, but none of them turned out as they should have.  I mean, nobody enjoys biting into a doughy bite of goo.

What the dumplings aim to be are fluffy, cake-like treasures, covered with the blackberry sauce.  The recipe is simple and really easy to make, but it’s all in the temperature and timing.  I tweaked a couple of things to make it our own, and I got the timing down just right for you (something that was missing in previous recipes).

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Dewberry Dumplings
Servings: 8
Author: Bayou Woman
Ingredients
  • Dumpling Batter Wet Ingredients
  • 1 Egg - well beaten
  • 1/2 Cup whole milk
  • 1 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp . melted butter
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 Cups All purpose Flour
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Dewberry-Blackberry Sauce
  • 2 Quarts Dewberries or Blackberries
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 2-4 Cups of Water as needed
Instructions
  1. Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl in the above order.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, gently folding. Do not over stir.
  4. Set aside the batter while you make the sauce.
  5. Put the berries and sugar a large skillet (or large, shallow sauce pan) with a lid.
  6. Cook on medium heat until a soft boil and it begins to thicken, stirring often. This could take about 15 minutes. Depending on the water content of your berries, you might not need to add any extra water. However, if you want more syrup or thinner sauce, add the water a little at a time to desired thickness.
  7. Once the sauce is boiling, drop batter gently into the liquid using two teaspoons. (Scoop batter up in one, push it off into the skillet with the other.) These dumplings will double/triple in size making a perfect size dumpling.
  8. Still on medium heat, cover the pan and SET THE TIMER. You must gently turn the dumplings over at 2 1/2 minutes, which is halfway through the cooking time. Put the lid back on and let them cook the other 2 1/2 minutes. BEFORE you remove them from the liquid, stick a fork gently into the middle of the largest dumpling, and if it
  9. comes back clean, they are done.
  10. Put 2-3 dumplings into each bowl, drizzle with berry sauce and top with ice cream, whipped cream, Greek yogurt, or nothing.
  11. Recipe yields approximately 24 dumplings.


Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl in the above order.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Now, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, gently folding and do not “over stir”.

Set aside the batter while you make the sauce.

In a large skillet (or large, shallow sauce pan) with a lid, put the blackberries and sugar.  Cook on medium heat until a soft boil and it begins to thicken, stirring often.  This could take about 15 minutes.  Depending on the water content of your berries, you might not need to add any extra water.  However, if you want more syrup or thinner sauce, add the water a little at a time to desired thickness.

Once the sauce is boiling, drop batter gently into the liquid using two teaspoons.  (Scoop batter up in one, push it off into the skillet with the other.)  These dumplings will double/triple in size making a perfect size dumpling.  WARNING:  If you use a larger spoon, the dumplings might be too big and not cook through.

Still on medium heat, cover the pan and SET THE TIMER. Now, here’s something I had to figure out on my own.  You must gently turn the dumplings over, at 2.5 minutes, which is halfway through the cooking time.  Put the lid back on and let them cook the other 2.5 minutes.  BEFORE you remove them from the liquid, stick you fork gently into the middle of the largest dumpling, and if the fork comes back clean, they are done.

Get your serving dishes ready before the dumplings are done.  Put 2-3 dumplings into each bowl, drizzle with berry sauce and top with ice cream, whipped cream, Greek yogurt, or nothing.

And for those of you who ALWAYS ask me what the finished product looks like on the inside, here ya go . . .

See the nice cake-like consistency?  These, my culinary friends, are perfect!  They even passed The Captain’s (picky-ness) test, and Termite gobbled them up!

So there you have it.  One more thing to add to your south Louisiana cooking box of tricks to wow your family and friends after they’ve stuffed themselves on some spring-time crawfish stew.  Don’t delay, get out and find your patch of wild berries before they are ripe and gone.  Down here, it’s a very short window of opportunity, so hop to it!

The family doesn’t know it yet, but this will be our dessert on Easter Sunday, after our speckled trout, red drum fish fry!

Bon apetit, mon amis!

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Comments

Dewberry Dumplings — 54 Comments

  1. Catch more fish! As soon as Bryce gets done with his livestock judging contest, we will head your way! Should be there by breakfast, lol.

    I have berries in the freezer, I am making this tomorrow!

  2. Why, I am Wishin’ i could celebrate Easter with the folks down on the Bayou! (of course the photos of your delicious fare has nothing to do with it), lol! Kimberly O’Connor, Akron Ohio.

    • Welcome to the bayou, Kimberly! We always have room for one more. So, you are more than welcome. Down here, we are all about food and hospitality. We even make you eat when you’re not hungry! If you’re new here, stick around and join the fun. Lots of good folks stopping by and sharing ideas and stories! BW

  3. I bet this is one “Drop Dumpling” Hubby would eat with pleasure! (He wants rolled dumplings when I make Chicken and Dumplings.)
    Just looking at the photo made my mouth water and my glucose level go up!
    Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

  4. yup yup yup gonna make some during Easter break for the Grands. will probably make a couple extra batches of sauce to freeze too. The continuation of cooking the sauce will eventually bring it to pie consistency and I will put some of that up too. YUM. thanks for the dumpling recipe. It will be a nice change up from my usual cobbler . Happy Easter gal.

    • After this evening’s fish fry, I will be able to tell exactly how many dumplings this recipe will make. Right now, I’m not certain. It is a great change from cobbler, and so delicious!! What will you top it with? We’re going for vanilla ice cream! Happy Easter, lady!

  5. blu had a burrito and caught a dinky bream and wishes everybody a happy easter and spring….

    I think it is going to be cold here all week….

  6. Looks ridiculously delicious, and I love this stuff ….. it would only serve one, because I may just eat it all !!

  7. Oh, my! Just like home! Honest to goodness, that’s exactly how a dumplin’s SUPPOSED to be made – at least, that’s how it was done up in Iowa!

    And best of all – I found a dewberry patch this weekend. I had to drive some to do it, but at least I got a taste of the real thing, fresh. The blackberries will be showing up in our farmers’ market soon, so I’ll give the recipe a try with them.

    Hope your Easter was great!

  8. Well, I won’t be making this recipe this year unless someone puts me on berries. It’s just my opinion, but Ms. must have some fat birds this year. I didn’t find ANY berries (ripened or not) that were on the section of fence line I checked just 2 weeks ago!

    • Maybe I can talk some of my grandchildren making a raid their other grandparents berries. After all, I used to send figs, fig preserves, & fruit cakes (I put the preserves in them). I finally sent them a fig tree of their own and the fruit cake recipe.

      • I’m starting to feel very sorry for both you and Cammy – wish I could send y’all this berry patch. Lil Sis is down and we’ve picked twice, put up 8 quarts in the freezer, made two batches of jam, and plan to make a blackberry cordial recipe today! My right hand is full of festered stickers, though. I just can’t get them all out!! Boo hoo!

        • Got any Elmers glue? Put a thin coating on your hand (like we did in school) and let it dry. Peel it off gently and see if it will pull any out. If that doesn’t work, duct tape might. I have removed a lot of stickers/splinters with glue, duct tape and regular tape.

          • Well, I have to admit this sounds like a great idea! But what I’m left with is the part that stayed down in my skin–broken off as it were. They are all festering now and hurt like heck. I just hope the infection pushes the sticker point to the surface because this needs to be over with. I guarantee you next time I pick berries, I won’t just go plowing in, standing all the pain I can stand because the after affects are not worth it at all. My skin must not be as resilient as it was even a year ago, because I’ve never had this happen before to this degree. : ( Lil Sis is gone, so I think I’ll mope around until time to do the fishing show.

            • Two tips – the best thing for getting old fiberglass threads off/out is to use old nylon stockings. For those bits that dig in, the thing that helps me with fine cactus thorns is soaking my hands in warm (not hot) water twice a day and keeping lotion on them to keep the skin soft. It seems to help the thorns work their way out.

              Ouch!

  9. Made the blackberry dumplings last night and they came out perfect …. Thanks to ur wonderful illustrations and step by step directions… The family was skeptical for fear that I couldn’t pull this one off…. But low and behold did I receive a world of praise and Ohhhs and Ahhhhs…. Thanks and patiently waiting for you to add your next recipie

    • Yes sireee!!! That’s some good news right there! Only thing better’n having someone praise a recipe is having them praise the final product! Did you serve with a good vanilla ice cream? So, it’s a keeper, right? I have to ask, though, did you have lots of the batter left over? I did, so if enough people have the same experience, I need to tweak the recipe to reduce the batter quantity. Please let me know!! Thanks again for the great report! PS I just emailed you!!!

  10. Hello! I’m Hannah and I currently live in thibodaux. I tried your recipe today and it came out great! I have been looking for a good recipe and I have indeed found it!!! Thanks!!

    • Wonderful! That is just great news, Hannah. So, welcome to the bayou, and I hope you come back often. We do lots of other down the bayou things here that I think you might enjoy. There are about four years of archived stories and recipes, so please enjoy! And if you want to keep up, please click “follow by email” so you don’t miss a thing! I’m happy to have someone from Thibodaux reading! BW

  11. Thank you for this! I grew up in Houma and my grandmother would make it just like this. I couldn’t remember how she did it, but that looks just like her dumplings.

    • Oh wonderful, Vonn! I’m so glad to be able to take you back to something that reminds you of your grandmother. Good memories! Welcome back to a little taste of home! BW

  12. I am so looking forward to trying this recipe! I was raised in New Orleans but my mother’s family were from Buras. My great aunt, who just passed away at age 99, used to make this and we haven’t had it for years. At her funeral we were discussing how much we loved it and unfortunately no one asked her how to make it. Your recipe reminds me of her flavors and textures, so I’m going to give it a try. I’ll let you know how it comes out!!! Looking forward to more of your recipes!

    • Paula, 99? Isn’t that amazing! It’s a shame that sometimes we don’t think to ask all the things we want until after someone is gone. That’s just life, but my mother-in-law who makes these dumplings is now 96 and still ticking! I’m so glad your search led you here, and I hope the recipe is everything you remember. And guess what? You get to revive a tradition, give it new life, and continue it on down the line! Please, come back any time, we love new faces and opinions around here! BW

  13. This is my first visit to your site.This recipe – mainly your presentation – was so enticing as to warrant a comment. I’m in the content marketing industry, so I know that not many first timers leave comments.

    In other words, you’re awesome.

    Not only the mouth-watering sweet treat, but your writing is amazing. While reading, I felt like I do when I watch Paula Deen on Food Network. I’m a Georgian, so I love her down home country cooking.

    Now I have a down home Louisiana cook to follow! Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

    • Well, I have to say this is probably one of the nicest compliments I’ve received in my five years of blogging. Wow! I’m really touched that you enjoyed this recipe post so much. I hope you were compelled to delve a little further into the blog and read more about Life in the Louisiana Wetlands. Welcome to the bayou of south Louisiana, and I would like to personally invite you to visit often. Things are hopping around here, and we would love to have your input as we go along. Thanks again for taking the time to read the post AND leave such a nice comment. BW (PS If you try the recipe and like it, please come back and let us know!)

  14. I was all excited, was gonna ask what time we should show up for fried specks and red fish, w/ dumplin’s for dessert! Then I saw the time stamp…… so dissappointed.

    The deserts in school when I was a kid were always dumplins. Although thiers I am sure were not as good. Apple, peach, cherry, etc those huge lunch lady cans of WWII government surplus fruits, nearly always were made in to dumplins.

    Sure does look good, I think I can smell it and I didn’t buy that app.

      • Actually caught a couple reds in Lake Decade washouts Wednesday morning before the tide went slack! Pretty easy pickings, too! They ate up that gold spoon! Doesn’t get easier than that. However, the trout have been long gone from the freezer. This was a slow winter for me. Never found the trout stacked up in Decade. BTW, Gary ready to sell me that Kenner yet? 🙂

      • I guess its all in reference to your geographic region as to dumplins or cobbler. Mom being from Texas, she made cobbler. Sort of a self-rising pie crust lattice-work on top of the filling, I think she added a bit of baking soda to the crust. Yes, it could have been mistaken for a pie except for the fact that cobblers were always made in either a loaf pan, and 8” square, or a 9 x11.

        To me the easiest way to differentiate between the two, dumplins were like cake dough, cobbler was like a pie dough. Cobbler required cool weather to make ‘em, and a rolling pin, Dumplins were spooned in or on prior to cooking. Dumplins were made in dutch ovens on camping trips!

        You remember the spinster/widowed church lady growing up who always made the best deserts for the covered dish suppers? We all knew one, no matter your religion, (everyone likes to eat and talk) LOL. Anyway, she made hers with Phyllo dough on top, now that was impressive ‘cause back then nobody here had seen a phyllo dough before!

        Sorry, Readers Digest version: School’s were dumplin’s, cake like consistency.

    • Welcome to the bayou, sir! Hope you find more things of interest as we go along! We have lots of interaction in our comment section, and we welcome your comments, too! Thanks for following! BW

  15. I found three ripe dewberries in my neighbor’s yard, along the property line. (They’re not very assiduous about yard work.) Not enough for dessert but I picked and ate them, anyway.

  16. I now have money in an Amazon.com account (courtesy of middle son and family) for Dewberry plants for Mother’s Day. They were specific about the gift and where they want me to plant them (camp in MS). I think they plan on taking advantage of the fruits of my labor. LOL
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Thats too kewl…… I gave my Dad some dewberry plants years ago, they come and go (die off alot). They are always a pain, and I don’t think they have ever been picked or eaten.

      He planted his below a chain link fence behind the chicken yard. Make sure that where ever you plant them they have a limited space, they WILL expand out, really important, Seriously! They now own a space probably 18ft.wide x100ft.long x 12ft. high. It started with maybe 8 sprigs. Killing the fruits is easy, killing the plants serious work.

      LOL.. He planted the luffa’s on the same fence, I think the dew berries ate ’em…

      And Happy Mothers Day to ya and all the Ladies here.

      • Steffi – I didn’t know you could purchase dewberry vines? I’ve seen blackberry bushes around town, and even thornless blackberries. I guess Amazon means you will order them.

        Foamheart – Most folks don’t know anything about “loofa” vines. Mrs. Earline up the road showed me hers a couple years ago and I was just astounded. She gave me a couple loofas to bring home, but The Captain threw them away before they could totally dry out. The genus is Luffa (you’re right about that). Ever heard them called dish-cloth gourd? In Belizaire the Cajun, Alida watches the dishes with one, and ever since, I wondered if there was a native plant that grew them down here. Alas, they are not a native plant.

  17. Hey there BW!
    I grew up with my grand parents so I have been exposed to a lot of the older ways of life. I consider this knowledge a treasure! Anyway my grandmother made a blackberry cobbler (and peach) that was so tasty. Her cobbler is very similar to your recipe except she kept a potion of her dough out to roll out a top crust. She also rolled out her dumplings, and dropped them in and allowing to cook a few minutes. She would remove them from the stove & put the top crust on and then cut a few slits in the crust. She would than place in the oven (350 degrees)for 25 minutes (long enough for the crust to brown a little. I’m over a half century old and I have yet to find a recipe like hers. It makes me wonder if she modified it so she would have plenty to feed her family.
    I came across your website looking for recipes for fig preserves and I’m going to try yours. I’ve enjoyed the adventure and I am sure I’ll return.

    • Well, hey there back, Scout! (Is that what I should call you?) Welcome to the bayou, and I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks for the wonderful comment and for sharing a little of your history with us. Cooking, food, it ties us all together somehow. And your grandmother probably did modify things to make them stretch to feed those hungry mouths! I hope your figs turned out well and welcome you back here any time! BW

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