Buckles, bettys & other classic desserts

This article was originally published in July 2015

Pie, shortcake and cobbler don’t raise many eyebrows when it comes to fruit desserts — they’re friendly and familiar. But there’s a world of old-fashioned options with names that range from puzzling to ridiculous. They’re also tasty enough to be worth turning on the oven in the heat of summer — and one is cooked on the stovetop, making it well-suited to outdoor cooking on a camp stove.



A bit like coffee cake, the cake batter is topped with a thick layer of fruit, which sinks toward the bottom as it’s baked. Some recipes add a streusel topping and some don’t, but we went with a combination of organic La Pierre blueberries and a bit of streusel. Get our recipe for Blueberry Buckle »

Grunts & slumps

Kids (and some adults) will dissolve into giggles if you serve them a grunt. Grunts and slumps are regional New England names for the same kind of dessert: a cobbler that’s cooked on the stove top. The biscuits steam in the hot fruit, so they’re a bit like dumplings. Get our recipe for Peach-Raspberry Grunt »

Brown betty

This name might be familiar, as Apple Brown Betty is still found occasionally restaurant menus. They’re made from layers of buttered breadcrumbs both above and below the fruit. For summer, we’ve brightened up traditional apples by blending gorgeous sweet-tart apricots into the filling. Get our recipe for Apple & Apricot Brown Betty »


Deep-dish with crumbled biscuit topping, brown sugar and molasses. Three key points define a pandowdy. First, they’re deep-dish, a fruit-lover’s delight. Second, the biscuit topping is crumbled into small pieces, for extra crumbles and crunch. Third, molasses, brown sugar or a mixture is used for sweetening. Our combination of brown sugar, nectarines and blackberries are the perfect counterpoint to the biscuits. Get our recipe for Nectarine-Blackberry Pandowdy »


PCC Cooks class: Fresh Fruit Tarts

Want something more formal? Join PCC Pastry Chef Nicole Milne as she demonstrates a tantalizing Lemon Tart and Classic Vanilla Custard Tart, each with fresh fruit adorning the top. Check out classes at PCCCooks.com

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