Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cobbler, Buckle, Crumble or Grunt?

I love all the homey, old fashioned sounding desserts that can be made combining a base of some sort of fruit and then covered with some sort of topping. They come in such varieties as cobblers, crumbles, grunts, pan dowdies and buckles. There are probably more but that's all I could come up with today.

I went on line to find out the differences between them all and here's a short synopsis:
Cobbler - Cobblers are an American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust (usually a biscuit crust) and a fruit filling (such as peaches, apples, berries). Some versions are enclosed in the crust, while others have a drop-biscuit or crumb topping.

Crisps and Crumbles - Crisps are baked with the fruit mixture on the bottom with a crumb topping. The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, bread crumbs, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, or even breakfast cereal. Crumble are the British version of the American Crisp.

Betty or Brown Betty - A Betty consist of a fruit, most commonly apples, baked between layers of buttered crumbs. Betties are an English pudding dessert closely related to the French apple charlotte. Betty was a popular baked pudding made during colonial times in America.

Grunts or Slump - Early attempts to adapt the English steamed pudding to the primitive cooking equipment available to the Colonists in New England resulted in the grunt and the slump, a simple dumpling-like pudding (basically a cobbler) using local fruit. Usually cooked on top of the stove. In Massachusetts, they were known as a grunt (thought to be a description of the sound the berries make as they stew). In Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island, the dessert was referred to as a slump.

Buckle or Crumble - Is a type of cake made in a single layer with berries added to the batter. It is usually made with blueberries. The topping is similar to a streusel, which gives it a buckled or crumpled appearance.

Pandowdy - It is a deep-dish dessert that can be made with a variety of fruit, but is most commonly made with apples sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. The topping is a crumbly type of biscuit except the crust is broken up during baking and pushed down into the fruit to allow the juices to come through. Sometimes the crust is on the bottom and the desert is inverted before serving. The exact origin of the name Pandowdy is unknown, but it is thought to refer to the deserts plain or dowdy appearance.

Today's recipe falls into the cobbler category and I made it with some wonderful Marionberries, freshly picked from a farm nearby. This cobbler recipe called for buttermilk but having none in the fridge, I used cream instead. It made an extremely rich and delicious biscuit! There is nothing like a fruit cobbler cooking in the oven to make the whole house smell divine.Marionberry Cobbler

1 quart of Marionberries (blackberries or boysenberries would work too)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Gently mix the berries, sugar, flour and cinnamon together and then put them in a greased 13x9 baking dish.1/2 cup sugar
1 stick of melted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk or cream
2 cups baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy)
1 tsp vanillaPreheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the sugar, butter, cream and vanilla into the baking mix and stir until combined and moist. Do not overmix. Dollop the biscuit dough evenly over the fruit and sprinkle the top of each mound with some sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Let cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


KandN said...

I love those old names! Cobblers make me think of big family gatherings in the summer, with Uncle Dave in charge of making the ice cream. Good times! :>)

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