This summery blackberry-ginger slump is topped with sweet rosemary dumplings. The filling is pure blackberry flavor infused with candied ginger. Bring on the warm weather!

Adapted from Emily and Matt Clifton | The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook | Page Street Publishing, 2021

While grunts, slumps, buckles, and betties all sound like adorably old-fashioned insults, they actually belong to the same family of fruit desserts as cobblers, crisps, and crumbles. So, what exactly is a slump? We’ll clear that right up for you: A slump is a grunt that is baked in the oven instead of simmered on the stovetop. Capisce? No? Fair enough.–Emily and Matt Clifton

A Blackberry Ginger Slump With Rosemary Dumplings in a yellow pot with scoops of vanilla ice cream

Blackberry-Ginger Slump with Rosemary Dumplings

5 / 2 votes
The combination of sweet blackberries and spicy ginger is a winner, especially topped with dumplings perfumed with just a hint of rosemary. The fact that they slump down into the softened fruit is all part of the vintage charm.
Servings6 servings
Calories495 kcal
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes


For the dumplings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk kefir, or plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

For the filling

  • 6 cups fresh or frozen blackberries or other berries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied (crystallized) ginger
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (use a little less if your blackberries are unusually sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup water (only if using fresh berries)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream whipped cream, or clotted cream, for serving (optional)


Make the dumplings

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut the butter up into small pieces and add it in. Using your hands, a pastry cutter, or a fork, work the butter into the flour mixture until about half of it looks like coarse meal and the rest is left in pea-sized pieces.
  • Add the buttermilk and rosemary and stir until the flour is just moistened, while handling the dough as little as possible. Turn it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a loose disk shape, cover it completely and refrigerate it while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and set a rack in the middle.
  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the blackberries, candied ginger, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and water (if using fresh berries). Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and the berries release some of their juices, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, using your hands or a spoon, tear off 2-inch (5-cm) chunks and evenly distribute them over the top of the fruit. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the top, if using.
  • Place the Dutch oven in the oven and bake until the top turns light golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of clotted cream.


What are the differences between a crisp, crumble, cobbler, and buckle?

Ok, so we’re all clear on what a slump is, right? But what about the rest of them? 
First, let’s consider how they’re similar: All of them are 1.)  fruit desserts that are 2.) baked in a dish 3.) with some sort of a topping.
Now, for the differences:
  • A crisp is crowned with a sweet, streusel-like topping that’s specked with oats, nuts, or, sometimes, both.
  • A crumble is the kissing cousin of a crisp. At its core, it’s a crisp without oats or nuts. (See, the nuts and oats make a crumble crisp, hence a crisp’s name.)
  • A cobbler is topped with mounds of homey drop-biscuit dough that have been sprinkled with sugar.
  • A buckle, the sweet old lady of the group, is a single-layer cake whose batter is studded with berries or chopped fruit. Where does the name come from? Well, as the dessert bakes, the fruit sinks giving the dish a dimpled or buckled look.

Adapted From

The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 495 kcalCarbohydrates: 91 gProtein: 8 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 7 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 31 mgSodium: 374 mgPotassium: 338 mgFiber: 9 gSugar: 52 gVitamin A: 683 IUVitamin C: 31 mgCalcium: 177 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Matt | Emily Clifton. Photo © 2021 Emily and Matt Clifton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I really liked this recipe for blackberry ginger slump with rosemary dumplings. I feel like, with the exception of the occasional lemon shortbread recipe, I don’t put rosemary in my baked goods enough, and I love rosemary in my baked goods, so that definitely inspired me to make this.

My dumpling dough was very wet. The next time I make this, I might cut the buttermilk back to 3/4 cup to start, and add more liquid if I feel it’s necessary. In the end though, it was fine. The dumplings, once baked, looked a little spongy, but taste and texture-wise, they were good. I really like the interplay of the rosemary in the dumplings with the blackberry filling. All in all, I think this is a quick and easy dessert, and a great use of seasonal fruit. I served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This blackberry ginger slump with rosemary dumplings was the perfect dessert for gloomy weather. Slump, cobbler, crisp, or crumble, berries topped with dough was just the right note after a dinner of pork medallions with apples. The rosemary added an unexpected twist to the flavor.

I have had blackberry jam paired with sage and this dessert offered a similar flavor profile. The addition of candied ginger was a new twist and worked well with the blackberries and rosemary. Topped with brown sugar vanilla bean ice cream, it was perfect.

It is not difficult to prepare and can be thrown together at the last minute. A great recipe for a family dinner or something more special. This recipe is simple enough for novice cooks or teaching a child some pastry basics. It is a keeper. I used a 6-quart Dutch oven to be on the safe side, but I think a 3-4-quart Dutch oven would also work just fine. I am wondering if sage or other savory herbs could be swapped for the rosemary in the dumplings. Raspberries or blueberries could be combined with or substituted for the blackberries, if desired. This recipe is a blank canvas that will allow each cook to tailor to their own taste.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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