Cobblers, Buckles, Slumps, and Grunts

What do all these words have in common?  They are all desserts made with a fruit base and a biscuit or cake-like topping.  I’m including one of these as my final Desserts for Dudes because my son and all the men I know seem to really like fruit-based desserts, and these names all have a very “manly” sound to them.  Although I had heard of these desserts before -and even eaten some-I was not clear about what their differences are.  So being the curious sort, I looked them up.

The term Cobbler is an old English word which was given to a baked fruit dessert that has dumplings or biscuits placed on top of the warm fruit base and baked in the oven.  As the toppings bake they enlarge and touch each other reminding folks of “cobbled streets”, thus the name cobbler.  A Buckle is made of a cake batter with fruits mixed in it, then oven baked.  It got its name because sometimes the whole thing buckled under the weight of the fruit.   Slumps and Grunts are a variety of cobbler, but cooked on top of the stove, usually in an iron skillet.  They acquired their unusual names because of the sounds they made while cooking.

I’ve made cobblers before using various fruits in season.  They are best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of heavy cream over the top, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Here then is a recipe for Praline Peach Cobbler.  When I served this still a bit warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, Mr. D. said “MMMMMMMM, Wow!”

PRALINE PEACH COBBLER

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches
  • 2 cups self-rising flour***
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

***a substitute for the self-rising flour:  place 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup.  Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup.  Then add an additional cup of all-purpose flour.

Directions

In a large saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Stir in water until smooth.  Add peaches.  Bring to a boil over medium heat;  cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish;  set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flour and remaining sugar; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the buttermilk and stir just until moistened.  If needed, add additional buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings together.  Turn out onto a floured surface; knead gently for 6-8 times.  Roll into a 12-inch x 8-inch rectangle.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and pecans;  spread over the dough to within 1/2 inch of edges.  Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side.  Cut into 12  1-inch pieces.  Place over peach mixture, cut side up.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    

Note:  all ingredients may be easily cut in half  to make a smaller size dessert.  Use a 9″ round pan, or an 8″ or 9″ square pan.  As pictured here, I made a half recipe for my husband and me and it easily made 6 servings.

SOURCE:   The Taste of Home Baking Book

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