Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Grunt Recipe

This is loosely based off of Alton Brown's Blackberry Grunt Recipe. We made some modifications, since we didn't have buttermilk in the house, and I truly dislike any and all berries. So it's my apple grunt recipe, instead. =)

Apple Grunt

9.5 oz. all-purpose flour
2 oz. unsalted butter, chilled and chopped into small cubes
1 cup milk
2 and 1/4 tsp. baking power
1 tsp. kosher salt

4-6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped in a rough dice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

  1. Blitz together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor, until they're sifted together and slightly aerated. You can also do this step in a regular sifter, but I prefer my processor.
  2. Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and add the cubes of butter. Using only your fingertips (your hands are scrupulously clean here, right?), rub the butter into the flour mixture. You're not trying to smash the butter in, nor are you trying to completely get it to disappear. Your goal is to use gentle regular motions to incorporate the butter in, until there are no obvious chunks of butter in the mixture.
  3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour the milk into the well.
  4. With a spatula, mix the milk gently into the flour mixture. Stop once all the flour is gone. DO NOT mix until there are no lumps. DO NOT mix until it looks smooth. This is a biscuit dough and it should look not-perfect!
  5. Take the dough and stash the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. You could try to work it into a pretty ball wrapped in paper, but I just threw the bowl in.
  6. Take the spices, sugar, and water, and mix together into a slurry in a separate bowl. Add the apples and stir to coat.
  7. Put the apple mixture (including any liquid!) into a cast-iron skillet, a large casserole, or some other oven proof vessel. Place on the stove and cook on medium heat until the liquid in the pan starts to simmer. Lower the heat a bit and simmer for ten minutes. You don't want the liquid to totally evaporate, but you want the apples to cook down and the mixture to get slightly syrupy.
  8. In the meantime, make sure your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F.
  9. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and arm yourself with a scooping device. The dough will be quite sticky; I used a 1.5 tbsp cookie disher, but you could use two spoons as well.
  10. Once the apple mixture has simmered for ten minutes, start placing scoops of the dough directly on top of it. There's no need to take it off the heat; just be careful. Start at the outside of the pan and move inwards in a circle or spiral. The dough scoops don't need to be very close together as they will expand during cooking. Make sure to use every last bit of dough you can get out of your bowl.
  11. Place the grunt in your preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden-brown and puffy. My oven runs about 25 degrees cool, so it took it the full 20 minutes to achieve that state.
  12. Eat, ravenously.


ryan field said...

There's a way to improvise buttermilk. I'm not sure exactly what this is, but I've heard about it.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

Ryan, you put 1 tbsp white vinegar into a cup of milk and let it sour. But we happened to be totally out of white vinegar when I made this, so it wasn't possible. If you were to have buttermilk/sour milk, reduce the baking powder to 2 tsp and add 1/4 tsp of baking soda.