Whether you call it a cobbler, crisp, buckle, grunt, or brown betty, it’s all delicious. Let us teach what the differences between these desserts are.
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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?
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.
We got a couple cobbler recipes on the blog:
- Simple Tart Cherry Cobbler
- Apple Cobbler with Quinoa in the Topping
- Pluot Rhubarb Cobbler
- Honeycrisp Apple Cobbler
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.
So if put some oats or nuts on top of your cobbler you have the right to call it a crisp.
I have made an apple crisp before where the topping was baked right into the apple itself. It’s an Alton Brown recipe.
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.
Blueberry Buckle is the standard fruit for buckles. I am a fan of Alton Brown’s buckle (not the las time you will hear that name in this post!) as well as this slightly altered version that contains maple syrup and sugar.
What About a Brown Betty?
I first heard of a brown betty through watching episodes of the cartoon King of the Hill. Peggy Hill likes 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.
What is a 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.
No matter which of these desserts you are making besides the fruit itself, the next most opportunity thing is the spices. This is where you want to use the good stuff.
I highly recommend Burlap & Barrel. They are a single origin spice company that buys directly from the farmers. Here are the spices I think would be great in any of these desserts.
Which of these desserts have you made or tried? Leave a comment below.