Cobblers, Crumbles and More

Have you ever been confused by baked fruit desserts?
Cobblers, Crumbles and More - Articles


Lenelle Bear 2017

Nothing says Fall more than fresh apples and pumpkins! After a family outing to your local orchard you may feel compelled to bake something with your purchases. Upon checking a cookbook for a recipe, you may feel overwhelmed by all the varieties of baked desserts using fruit. These baked wonders come in a variety of names and varieties. Cobbler, Crumble, Brown Betty, Pandowdy, Buckle, Slump or Grunt; they all combine fruit and a flour topping but how do they differ?


a deep dish of fruit which is baked and has a biscuit crust which is "cobbled" together and sprinkled with sugar. Sometimes the biscuit is on top and under the fruit.


a combination of flour, sugar and butter, is crumbled together and is sprinkled over the fruit before baking. Sometimes oats, chopped nuts or cookie crumbs are added to the topping.


the English name or version of a crisp, which has a shortbread-like topping of flour, sugar, oats and brown sugar.


a combination of biscuit batter with a streusel topping. The fruit is mixed into the batter instead of laying beneath the topping. The most popular is blueberry buckle.

Brown Betty:

originating in Colonial America, like bread pudding. It contains lots of fruit, buttered bread and cream. Most often apples are the fruit of choice. The topping is usually layered into the fruit before baking.


an old fashion New England dessert. This dessert is made on the stovetop instead of the oven. Dollops of biscuit dough cover the fruit. A skillet with a tight lid need to be used for this recipe to be a success. The dumplings set up on the top of the fruit, but do not brown using this cooking method.


same as a slump and found in Massachusetts. The name grunt was given to this dish as it was said that during the cooking process a grunting sound could be heard coming from the covered skillet.


another deep-dish fruit dessert made from sliced fruit, sugar, spices topped with a biscuit batter, which is baked in the oven. During the last few minutes of baking the crust is cut up and pressed into the fruit mixture. Apples, molasses and brown sugar are used in a classic Pandowdy. The name originated probably because of its appearance.

There are many delicious and nutritious Pennsylvania grown fruits available throughout the state this time of year. Visit your local produce stands or orchards and enjoy the fruits of the season and now that you know the difference between a Buckle and a Slump why not give one of them a try.