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Blackberry Slump

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Servings: 6
From "Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking," by Eric V. Copage

Cook's Notes:
A slump is a cousin of the baked cobbler, only simmered on top of the stove. It must be served hot from the skillet, preferrably with a big scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can find.

Blackberry Stew:
5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sweet Dumplings:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
1 pint vanilla ice cream, preferrably homemade

Make the Blackberry Stew:
In a 10-inch skillet, bring the blackberries, sugar, and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Meanwhile, make the sweet dumplings: Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course meal. Stir in the milk just until a soft dough forms.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons into the simmering stew, making 12 dumplings. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Then cover, and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Divide the slump evenly among six dessert bowls. Top each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Date: October 20, 2006

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