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“Grunts, also known as slumps, are cousins to the cobbler—they too feature a biscuit topping, but unlike the cobbler, which is baked in the oven, a grunt is cooked on the stovetop. In this easy summertime dessert, apricots simmer in a skillet with honey and a touch of cloves. Then whole-grain buttermilk biscuits are steamed on top of the bubbling fruit until set. Serve warm with a little heavy cream, a dollop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Try it with any type of fruit or combination of fruit—frozen fruit works well too.”
6 cups sliced ripe apricots, nectarines or peaches ( ½-inch slices), peeled if desired, fresh or frozen
⅓ cup honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1To prepare filling: Combine apricots (or nectarines or peaches), honey, lemon juice and cloves in a 10-inch nonreactive skillet (see Tip) with a lid. Bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
2To prepare topping: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and oil in a measuring cup. Gradually drizzle the buttermilk mixture over the dry ingredients, tossing with a fork just until evenly moistened.
3Drop 6 equal portions of batter (about 1 generous tablespoon each) onto the surface of the bubbling fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
4Cover the skillet and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. If the biscuits are not set, replace the lid and cook until set, about 5 minutes more. The biscuits should be puffed and firm to the touch. Let cool, uncovered, for about 20 minutes before serving.
Note: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online. Store it in the freezer.
Tip: A nonreactive pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.