Friday, July 18, 2014

Crisp, crumble, slump, cobbler or Betty

Do you know the differences between a crisp, crumble slump (or grunt), buckle, cobbler or Brown Betty?  And why even care?  We went out to dinner on the mainland, and ordered a crisp but were served a crumble.  Which led, of course, to my usual research (and how some of them were named)

Please read to the end for my own favorite.. .

brown betty
A crumble is probably what you think of when you hear any of the names of the other desserts in this list. A crumble is a baked dish of fresh fruit (apples, berries, plums, etc.) that is topped with an oat-based streusel. Add ice cream and transport to summer heaven.


A crisp is exactly like a crumble, except there are no oats in the streusel. That makes the crisp topping more like sweet, buttery, crumbled pie crust.

cobbler         If anyone ever serves you a "cobbler" that is topped with pie crust, they are pulling your leg. Or... trying to get you to eat pie. A true cobbler is topped with individually-dropped biscuits. When the dish bakes and the biscuits puff up, they look like a cobblestone street, hence the name cobbler. (We had a major lightbulb moment when we figured this out -- how did we never know that before?)


A buckle layers a more traditional, cakey batter underneath the fruit. As the dessert cooks, the cake rises around the fruit, which tries its best to sink to the bottom, making the whole thing buckle inwards.

berry grunt 
Great news! A grunt and a slump are exactly the same thing. Grunts and slumps are just like cobblers, only instead of being baked in the oven, they are cooked covered, entirely on the stove-top (or camping fire, or whatever). This steams the biscuits on top of the fruit, rather than bakes them. This dish earned the name "grunt" because that's the noise that the hot, bubbly fruit makes as it "grunts" up around the biscuit dough. This dished earned its other name, "slump," because that is what it does when you try to put it on a plate.
brown betty

A brown Betty uses the same kinds of crumbs as a crisp (sweet, buttery, no oats), but there is a layer under the fruit as well as on top of the fruit. Buttery crumb lovers, the brown Betty is your dessert.

So my personal creation is with the oat crust both on top and on the bottom.  I did find that in some places it may be called a double crumble, but I prefer to call it a Golden Sally.

So my dear readers, please let know what you call it in your country?

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