Blueberry Duff – a traditional Newfoundland favourite!

Posted on Oct 14 2008 - 4:03pm by Barry C. Parsons

Blueberry duff is a steamed pudding here in Newfoundland, sometimes served with dinner, sometimes as a dessert with blueberry or rum sauce.

Blueberry Duff - a traditional Newfoundland steamed pudding.

Blueberry Duff – a traditional Newfoundland steamed pudding.

A blueberry duff is a type of steamed pudding, which is most often, as shown here, boiled in a cotton bag in the same pot with the vegetables and salt beef in traditional Newfoundland Jigg’s Dinner. It goes by several different names; my friend Ellen, from St. Vincent’s, for example calls it “Lad in da Bag”.


Traditions vary accross the province with some people who only know this dish as a dessert course, being served with a brown sugar or rum sauce; others know it as a side dish served with the other components of a Jigg’s dinner.

This is a very close cousin to the Figgy Duff.…which doesn’t really have figs at all. 

Newfoundland Blueberry Duff and Figgy Duf

Newfoundland Blueberry Duff and Figgy Duf


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5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Duff
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Newfoundland
Serves: Serves up to 8
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 to 1½ cup blueberries
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Blend together the flour, sugar and baking powder.
  2. Add the blueberries and toss to distribute them in the flour mixture.
  3. Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract all at once.
  4. Mix all together with a wooden spoon just until a soft dough is formed.
  5. Put dough into a pudding steamer or a wet heavy cotton pudding bag, tying the bag with a piece of butcher string but leaving about an inch of slack at the top to allow the pudding to expand.
  6. Boil gently for approximately one and a half hours to 2 hours.
  7. Remove from steamer or pudding bag, slice and serve.

20 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. inky January 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I love this duff we called it blueberry grunt.. either way it’s yummy.

    • Mike Power December 18, 2016 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Do you know of a version of this recipe that is gluten free and still nice,? A new member of the family is gluten intolerant

      • Barry C. Parsons December 19, 2016 at 11:48 am - Reply

        I’ve never made it with guten free flour before and I’d be skeptical to be honest. It’s going to be hard to replicate the texture of this without gluten.

  2. Barry C. Parsons January 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Interesting Inky. What we knew as blueberry grunt was a sort of dumpling cooked in blueberry jam. Where are you from?

  3. Pidgeperry March 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Thank You for the recipe!
    I have my grandmother’s recipe for Lassie Duff, but could not find nor remember the recipe for Blueberry duff. This is going into my recipe box immediately!

  4. Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    the recipe is just the same as my late mothers .i had jiggs dinner today and that was only thing missing.i am originally from cornerbrook,now ontario october 3,2010 .john

  5. Brad Foley February 5, 2011 at 2:36 am - Reply

    I grew up on this… now if I could just find the recipe for lassie duff!

  6. [email protected] January 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    is there another way to cook it if you dont have the cloth bag?

  7. Barry C. Parsons January 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    You can cook it in a pudding steamer as well.

  8. Charley Gee January 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I recently baked this in the oven with tin foil (or a fitted cover) over a glass baking dish and the effect was a steamed pudding very close to the boiled version.

  9. Melvina Morey September 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Looking for the recipe for the rum butter sauce for the steamed blueberry sauce???

    • Barry C. Parsons September 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Oh gosh, I don’t think that’s on the site. I’ll put it on my to do list.

  10. Kalina December 3, 2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Any way to make this recipe gluten free and still taste like regular blueberry Duff? This one is by far the best recipe I’ve tried

    • Barry C. Parsons December 4, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      I guess you could try gluten free flour but the texture would be hard to replicate for sure.

  11. neta December 8, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    just like mom use to make.I was raised up eating this blueberry steamed duff…

  12. neta December 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I looked everywhere for this recipe for Christmas jigs dinner.
    Thank you

  13. Anita Dorsey December 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Just wanted to know how to steam, I remember seeing top of bag hanging over and how much is it sumerged in water and do u rotate it from side to side? Thx Anita

    • Barry C. Parsons December 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      It isn’t necessary to submerge it all the way, the pudding cooks in steam really. I do give it a turn once , usually.

  14. Louise February 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Looking for the recipe for the rum sauce.

    • Barry C. Parsons February 20, 2017 at 11:01 am - Reply

      I normally add a couple of shots of rum to my caramel sauce.

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