Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cobblers, Crisps, Brown Betty, Slumps, Crumbles.....

It's funny when you think about it, all the different types of toppings there are for fruit desserts. I mean where did Brown Betty come from and who is Betty anyway?
Here are some of the answers... Oh and I like all the below with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream when the dessert is still warm.

Crisps, Crumbles & Buckles- These are great with Blackberries, Marionberries or I like a combo with fresh peaches. Usually made with flour, oats, sugar, softened butter, salt and spices (optional). All three have a streusal type topping which gives it a buckled or crumpled appearance. Easy and delicious.

Cobblers- My husbands favorite which is more of a biscuit-like topping. In my recipe I add 1/4 cup cornmeal to 1 1/2 cups flour, whipping cream, baking soda, baking powder,1/2 cup sugar ( I like the evaporated. organic cane sugar in the topping). Add 1/4- 1/2 cup regular sugar to berries, depending on sweetness, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 Tablespoons flour. YUM!

Brown Betty- Anyone with the name Betty can take credit for this recipe! This one dates back to Colonial times and has two different methods:
One of the oldest recipes found is basically like a bread pudding with apples. The other recipe for Brown Betty is when the apples are sprinkled with brown sugar (hence the name), cinnamon, dash of salt and bread crumbs sprinkled over the top and baked. I'd drizzle a little butter over the bread crumbs or toss the bread crumbs with melted butter, then sprinkle over apple mixture. Top with Vanilla ice cream. With the bread pudding version I would add caramel sauce and ice cream.

Slumps and Grunts-"Early attempts to adapt the English steamed pudding to the primitive cooking equipment available to the Colonists in New England resulted in the grunt and the slump, a simple dumpling-like pudding, (basically like a cobbler). Usually covered and cooked on top of the stove. In Massachusettes, they were known as a grunt (referring to the sound that the berries made while cooking). Phew! Always wondered about that one! In Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island, the dessert was referred to as a slump.

Pandowdy-This dough is rolled out, like a pie crust but but ends up being flaky and delicious.

Clafouti- A custard-like French dessert. Reminds me of a thicker version of a Dutch Baby (flour, eggs, milk & butter) Fruit is placed in a buttered baking dish, custard
is made, then poured on top and baked.

Hope you enjoy making the different variations while berries are at their prime right now!


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