Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?: Cobbler, Slump, Buckles, Grunts, Pandowdy and Crisp-An Expose on Summer Desserts


Cobbler, Slump, Buckles, Grunts, Pandowdy and Crisp-An Expose on Summer Desserts

A friend was asking for a cobbler recipe the other day and I had to stop and think...cobbler? When was the last time I made one of those? So I went in search of a recipe and found some very confusing results. I kept digging and taking notes and drooling until I think I have sorted it out. And worked myslef in to a dessert making tizzy. I made a cobbler(hey Margriet!), it was great and it was inhaled. I have decided that I will be making most of these desserts in the next feew weeks to truly sort them out. I'd like to bake them all up in a day or two and walk around forcing people to "taste this" and demand instant analiysis. That's not going to happen. I don't want to burn anyone out on sweet, fruity, deliciousness, right? Unless of course I get some more help consuming these...anyone?

What's the difference? Except that a crisp has a crunchy topping basically they are all variations on a theme. Peak harvest fruits, a dash of sugar and some sort of biscuit topping, baked or boiled. I have been reading a lot of versions of these recipes and these seem to be a generally accepted definitions except by James Beard in "American Cookery" who seems to believe a bit differently, I note where he differs.

Grunt-stewed fruit with a topping, stewed on the stove top with dumplings, simmering berries steaming the dough-berries make a grunting noise as they simmer on the stove-James Beard seems to say these are cooked in the oven with biscuit topping, he seems to be in the minority,
though variations differ state to state

Slump-simmered fruit with dumplings, same as a grunt

Buckle-berries with a cake that rises to the top and buckles when it is baked

Cobbler-baked fruit with sweet cream biscuits on top sprinkled with sugar and baked

Pandowdy-pie crust over fruit cooked halfway then crushed into fruit then allowed to finish baking, James Beard says that a Pandowdy is fruit baked under a pie crust and then flipped over and served crust down
Crisp-crispy topping usually with oatmeal, sometimes with nuts

Hungry yet? Anyone want to come for dessert?

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler
5 stalks of rhubarb cut in to 1 inch slices
1 cup of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of salt

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar+1 Tablespoon divided
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
1/2 cup of milk

combine the first 4 ingredients in a deep dish pie pan or other baking dish of roughly the same size
in the bowl of a food processor pules the dry ingredients--not the 1 Tablespoon of sugar
add the butter and pulse until course crumbs are formed
pour in the milk and pulse until the dough forms a ball
knead 10 times on a floured counter
cut out biscuits and place over the fruit, they can overlap each other
sprinkle with the extra Tablespoon of sugar
bake for 40-50 minutes until the biscuits are browned
serve warm with cream or ice cream
coffee is nice too

Peace and Love,


  1. Mmmmmmmm fruit desserts are my all time favorite. I'm not a big sweets person, no frosting or chocolate for me!

    Very interesting abuot all the different kinds! You learn something new everyday!

  2. Very informative post today! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for the great information, Laura. I love the names: Slump, Buckle, Grunt! I have both strawberries and rhubarb from my CSA box this week, so I will try out that cobbler recipe next, although I think my new favorite is a crisp. LOVE fruit desserts!

  4. Oh yeah, I am SOOO all over that! Tell me when you need some help taste testing :) And you have GOT to watch Alton Brown walk through his definitions of those -- you can find the clip on Food Network's website. Well worth the watch!

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by, and please come again. Great info, great-looking cobler, too.

  6. YUMMY you know how much I love Rhubarb! Delish as always my dear


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