What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp?

Cherry Cobbler

Apple crisp, apple cobbler, what is the difference? Is there even one? You hear people use those two words interchangeably. They also make thrown in the world crumble. It’s fine to use the names as you would like – to get technical here we need to look at what each of these terms really means.

What is a Cobbler? | Check out my recipe for Cherry Cobbler
A cobbler is fruit mixed with some kind of dough and it is then cooked or baked. Simple as that. That’s all you need to have a cobbler. The reason it is called a cobbler, is because it’s just cobbled together. It’s not the more precise, more time consuming pie method. It’s meant to be just thrown together.

What is a Crisp?
A crisp is a type of cobbler, but more specifically it is one that is topped with nuts or oats giving it a topping that has a crisp texture. While all crisps are cobblers, not all cobblers are crisps. Got it? So if put some nuts on top of your cobbler you have the right to call it a crisp.

Peach Blueberry Buckle

What About a Buckle?
Besides crisp and cobbler there are other terms you might have heard such as a buckle. A buckle is fruit that is baked in a yellow cake batter, typically topped with a streusel topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour. In the past I have seen baked goods that were more sconce or muffin like passed off as buckle. Really a buckle is cake and should taste like such.

What About a Brown Betty?
I first heard of a brown betty through watching episodes of the cartoon King of the Hill. Peggy Hill like to make apple brown betty. What makes a cobbler a brown betty is having layers of bread crumbs with fruit between.

What About a Pan Dowdy?
In this case the dough is actually pressed right into the fruit. It is uneven, hence it has a dowdy appearance.

Blackberry Grunt

What is a Grunt? |Check out a recipe for Blackberry Grunt
This one I just tried for the first time. It is fruit with a biscuit like dough on top. It is usually cooked on a stove top but can be finished in the oven for better browning. The dough gives a dumpling like appearance. The name grunt comes from the sound it makes when cooking.

Whether you are eating a grunt, crisp, or buckle, know that all of these are really different forms of cobbler. Call it what you want, whatever way you have cobbler will taste good.

One Reply to “What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp?”

  1. […] To learn more about different types of baked fruit desserts, read my post on What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp? […]

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