Long Reads

Blueberry Schlumpf

August 21, 2013

If you're like us, you look to the seasons for what to cook. Get to the market, and we'll show you what to do with your haul.

Today: If you can get your hands on wild blueberries, make this. If you can't, make it anyway.

Blueberry Schlumpf from Food52

Shop the Story

You may be asking: What is a schlumpf?

Where does it come from? How does it relate to a cobbler, a grunt, a sonker, or its etymological doppelgänger, the slump? And why am I berating you with one more fruit dessert, at the end of the Summer of Strangely Named Fruit Desserts

My answer is this: when you have a family recipe with a funny name, you must share it. Especially when it requires five ingredients, one bowl, one pan, one spoon. Especially when it is sweet. 

Blueberry Schlumpf from Food52

For over a century my grandmother's relatives have spent their summers in Sorrento, Maine. My parents just recently hopped on the bandwagon, and they now spend the month of August summering. Nearly everyone there is a cousin, whether honorary or second or once removed. And at every gathering, my father's cousin Hasso always brings out a large pan full of blueberry schlumpf: a gooey mess of wild blueberries, topped with a second mess of sugar-butter-flour pebbles. Mess two sinks into mess one.

As I write this, my parents are up in Maine, engaging in leisure activities. I remain in New York, envious, closing my eyes hard and remembering the colors that the sky turns over the Atlantic when the sun begins to set and the clouds diffuse orange and pink light. 

I pick up a pint of Not Maine Blueberries at the market, and I do my best to fill the schlumpf-sized hole in my heart. 

Blueberry Schlumpf from Food52

Blueberry Schlumpf

Makes one 8 x 8 pan

For the filling
quart wild blueberries (conventional will do)
2 tablespoons flour
tablespoons sugar

For the topping
cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Eric Moran 

38 Comments

Jane R. July 2, 2015
I love baking with the frozen wild blueberries sold at Costco.
 
[email protected] September 2, 2013
Mess doesn't appear to be sinking. Should I stir it?
 
Author Comment
Marian B. September 14, 2013
Not to worry! It doesn't sink into a traditional sense -- sometimes the topping will stay crumbly. Hope you enjoyed!
 
AnneB August 28, 2013
I live one town over from Sorrento, and I can vouch that the local blueberries are fabulous. Last year I bought a 30-pound box of IQF (individually quick frozen) berries from a local producer, so I could bake and eat blueberries all year. Thanks for this recipe!
 
KtMcB August 29, 2013
Please share name of scourge of QF blueberries!
 
AnneB August 29, 2013
I got the blueberries at Allen's in Ellsworth, Maine. Here's a link to their website: http://www.allensblueberries.com/<br /><br />If I recall correctly, the 30-pound box of gorgeous tiny wild blueberries was about $60 last year, and worth every penny (worth every square inch of freezer space they took up, too). That was the cash-and-carry price.
 
Amanda H. August 28, 2013
I tripled the recipe -- still took just 10 minutes to put together. And was dee-licious!
 
Author Comment
Marian B. September 2, 2013
I'm so glad!
 
Margaret P. August 28, 2013
I love fruit, butter and flour in treats! I am going to make this with raspberries today after work:-)
 
Diane H. August 28, 2013
Do you recommend dark or light brown sugar?
 
Amanda H. August 28, 2013
I used dark because that's all we had, and it worked well. But hopefully Marian will weigh in here with actual expertise!
 
KtMcB August 29, 2013
Diane- I just asked Hasso ( Marans source for schlumpf recipe) your question and she says ALWAYS dark brown sugar! <br /><br />
 
Author Comment
Marian B. September 2, 2013
Yes -- I used dark as well!
 
Caroline August 28, 2013
Gosh, Judith, can't you make a comment without disparaging someone else's contribution? Maybe everyone doesn't consider having an occasional treat "muddying up".
 
Judith P. August 28, 2013
I'd rather have my Purple Schmurtzl (named by Paula Annicchiarico, my amazing daughter at the age of 4. It is made by placing one cup of frozen blueberries into a blender and adding enough cold buttermilk to make it grind into a nice, smooth frosty drink. Sweeten it if you must with a little vanilla or sugar or whatever sweetener suits you. It's our family cooler for a hot summer day. No butter and flour here to muddy up the blood stream.
 
Amanda H. August 28, 2013
Great name -- sounds good. But I do recommend the schlumpf; it was a big hit at a recent dinner for 12.
 
KtMcB August 29, 2013
I so much prefer eating fruit whole as opposed to purée, will save that for when I am old with no teeth, or maybe a grandchild (also with no teeth!)
 
KtMcB August 23, 2013
On my morning walk in Sorrento another cousin stopped to say hello asking why I have not stopped by her cottage. I told her I"d stop by on my way back......she said 'you can stop by but I won't be there, I'm going blackberry pickin!' I hope to time my visit to Bixie's after she has made her berry schlumpf! <br />Wild berries make all the difference!<br />Or at least get the small ones. Thanks Marian, Sorrento misses you. Happy vacationing to all!
 
sknauer August 23, 2013
schlumpf is the german word for smurf :-)
 
AliGal August 28, 2013
I love it!
 
Author Comment
Marian B. September 2, 2013
How perfect! They're both blue!
 
sknauer August 23, 2013
schlumpf is the german word for surf :-)
 
Tedi August 22, 2013
Would any fruit work for this? I'm not the world's biggest blueberry fan ;)
 
Tedi August 22, 2013
Blah! Just saw the answer down below in more comments. My apologies!
 
Author Comment
Marian B. August 22, 2013
Yup -- it's an equal-opportunity dessert. Enjoy!
 
LauriL September 2, 2013
Trying saying peach schlumph 10 times real fast and by the time you do, the lil creations will be gone!! Before hypnotizing the lobsters (envision 8 lobsters in a head stand on the kitchen counter)one of our favorite cooks put together some hollowed out peach halves topped with the flour (almond meal), butter, and brown sugar. Oh, what a happy ending to our lobster feed!<br />
 
Amanda H. August 21, 2013
I'm making this next week when I'm on summer house cooking duty -- thanks Marian!
 
Author Comment
Marian B. August 22, 2013
So happy to hear this! I recommend doubling the recipe.
 
Vstarr71 August 21, 2013
Thinking of making this with the abundant blackberries on our property:))
 
Author Comment
Marian B. August 22, 2013
That would be great! It works with any fruit, really.
 
fiveandspice August 21, 2013
Love the name shlumpf! It reminds me of the French name for the smurfs (schtroumpfs!). The dessert doesn't look too bad either...
 
heartdrive August 22, 2013
YES! Had the same thought. (What a rush of childhood memories coming back!) Schlumpf is actually what they're called in Germany and likely what this dish is named after.
 
Brette W. August 21, 2013
Shlumpf would be a great word for hang man
 
Author Comment
Marian B. August 22, 2013
Brilliant! I'll have to check to see if it's in the Scrabble dictionary, too.
 
Kenzi W. August 21, 2013
Serious magic happens when mess two sinks into mess one.
 
LauriL August 22, 2013
Serious sink messing this weekend!!
 
Kitchen B. August 21, 2013
Schlumpf! Love it. Love learning about strangely named desserts, and family secrets :-) and summers behind the desk! I only just made a pandowdy, now I must make this!
 
Author Comment
Marian B. August 22, 2013
I've found that strangely named desserts always taste better -- and make for more fun dinner conversation. Hope you enjoy!