There are desserts that are just desserts, and then there are desserts that are mysteries. One such mystery dessert is something that Meta Given calls “Blackberry Dumplings Mohawk,” which is a name that gives us so much information (ie: there are blackberries! And also dumplings!) and no information whatsoever (ie: you mean, like the hairstyle?)
While I still have no idea what the Mohawk part of Blackberry Dumplings Mohawk refers to (the internet yielded no information. The doctoral candidate, university instructor, and researcher within me shakes her head at this shoddy display research technique; while the lazy person within me asks “but aren’t mysteries more fun than knowing things?”), I can confirm that whatever it is, it is delicious and weird. Essentially, what you do is boil down berries in sugar and water until they get a bit syrupy, and then drop balls of dough into it and let the berry juice steam the dough into tasty dumplings. Like an inside out cobbler, sort of.
You will need:
1 quart blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter
2/3 cup milk
And here is what Meta Given would have you do:
Sort and wash berries. Place berries undrained in a 3 qt shallow saucepan that has a tight fitting cover. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, water, salt and lemon juice and stir into berries gently. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Sift flour, measure and resift 3 times with the 1 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and baking powder. Cut the butter in with pastry blender. Add milk all at once, then beat vigorously half a minute. Drop from tablespoon onto simmering berries. Cover tightly and simmer over very low heat 25 minutes. Do not uncover at any time during this simmering period. Spoon dumplings out into individual dishes, pour the sauce and berries over the top. Serve warm.
Some things: a pot with a large surface area is key, otherwise, your dumplings will all glob together into one giant dumpling. This is not necessarily a problem, if presentation isn’t a huge concern, because it obviously tastes just as good. But my first batch was less Blackberry Dumplings Mohawk and more Blackberry Giant Steamed Cake Mohawk. This is what was left in the pot after I’d served up half of my giant dumpling:
Looks totally weird, but is totally delish. I did a second batch in a bigger saucepan and it was much more dumplingy – while they expanded and were touching each other, they were still individual dumplings. Also! You obviously don’t need to limit yourself to blackberries with this! My second batch was Pineapple Blood Orange Dumplings Mohawk, and I added cinnamon to the dumpling batter because it is a little bit bland as it is. The dumplings themselves are kind of amazing – they really cook up like little cakes. I am kind of obsessed with this recipe, in all its weirdness, and I forsee that I will be making strange variations of it endlessly because the novelty refuses to wear off.
Also, there is a FUN SUSPENSE element to this recipe because Meta Given orders you to COVER THE POT AND LEAVE THE POT COVERED DON’T EVEN PEEK INSIDE OR YOU’LL RUIN EVERYTHING for 25 minutes. The first time I made this it was an exciting mystery! What would happen? Would the dough turn into a unicorn? Would it all boil over and explode into a giant, sticky disaster? Adventure cooking! It is the best kind of cooking!