Slump. Buckle. Pandowdy. Crisp. Boy Bait. Cobbler. Sonker. With their deliciously folksy names, these cousins of the pie have long captured the glory of summer fruits at the peak of freshness. They all begin with a combination of fruit, sugar, butter and flour, but over the years creative cooks using local ingredients and techniques have produced a variety of mouth-watering variations. Want to please a crowd at your church picnic or family reunion? Serve one of these all-American beauties with a scoop of ice cream, and wait for the compliments to pour in.
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A buckle is so named because the top buckles when it cooks. It is a type of cake with fruit dropped into the batter. This recipe calls for raspberries, but any berry, cherry or stone fruit will work.
The name speaks for itself: a combination of cake batter, blueberries and irresistible streusel topping that makes the boys come runnin’.
Sonkers are juicy, deep-dish, rectangular pies, specific to Surry County, North Carolina. They’re often topped with a “dip,” a glaze made from thickened sweetened condensed milk.
A crisp is similar to a cobbler, except that it has a topping (usually oatmeal) sprinkled evenly over the fruit and baked to create a sweet crunchy topping.
A slump is a New England creation—halfway between a cobbler and a British steamed pudding. Biscuit dough is dropped atop simmering fruit and covered until cooked through.
A pandowdy is traditionally baked in a cast-iron skillet. Halfway through the cooking process, the crust is broken and partly submerged in the filling, or “dowdied.”
The cobbler is an American classic in which fruit is topped with spoonfuls of biscuit dough and then baked, creating a cobblestone effect.