My Blackberry Buckle and So Forth

There are grunts, cobblers, crumbles, crisps, pandowdy’s, slumps, clafouti’s, betty’s and then there’s my favorite ~ buckles.

All of the above always confuse me so here’s the lowdown:

Grunt:  It is a simple, dumpling-like fruit dessert that is cooked on the stove-top.  Large dollops of biscuit dough are dropped on top of the fruit; the dough is steam cooked through the escaping steam of the fruit.  The name supposedly comes from the sound the fruit makes as it stews.

Slump:  It’s the same as grunt.

Cobbler:  A cobbler is a deep-dish fruit dessert with the fruit filling in the bottom of the dish and topped with thick biscuit dough, usually dropped in spoonfuls.

Crisp:  This dessert is baked with the fruit on the bottom and having a sweet crunchy topping which is crumbled over the top.  The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, breadcrumbs, graham cracker or cookie crumbs, or even cereal and baked until the top is brown and crunchy.  Crisps are the homey, American version of the British crumbles. 

Crumble:  Similar to a crisp except that it is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture.  The dish is of British origin and is not as rich as a crisp.   
Pandowdy:  This is a layer of sweetened fruit with a thick top crust, usually made with piecrust.  As the dessert bakes and the crust hardens, the crust is pushed and broken into the fruit with a fork, which allows the juices of the baking fruit to partially cover the crust.  The name supposedly refers to its rumpled or “dowdy” appearance after baking.  It’s generally made with apples; hence, apple pandowdy.

Clafouti:  This is a French dessert in which the fruit is topped with either a pudding or cake topping.  It’s often considered a baked pudding.  It’s easy to make, has a great presentation and is excellent for a quickie dessert for a dinner party.  It’s perfect for cherries and is usually served warm.

Betty:  This dessert goes back to colonial days and is usually known as Apple Brown Betty.  It’s made with brown sugar and baked between layers of buttered bread crumbs with an assortment of spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon.

Buckle:  A cake layer is on the bottom of the pan, the berries are spread over this and the top layer is a crumble mixture.  The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which can be compared to coffee cake.  It’s an excellent summer dessert, served hot or cold, dressed with drizzles of sauce, ice cream or plain.  The origin is mysterious ~ it may be colonial.

Like I said earlier, buckle is my favorite and especially if it’s made with blackberries!  This recipe for blackberry buckle is great.  The flavor with the combined cake layer, fruit and topping is to die for!  It keeps very well. 

The day after it is baked, heat a slice in the micro for a few seconds and it is a HEAVENLY thing when slightly warm with maybe a scoop of ice cream or a dab of butter on it as Bill does.  I like it just all by itself.  The aroma while baking is outstanding ~ it is truly delicious!

 Look at those berries ~ almost ready to bake...

Ready for the oven...


Blackberry Buckle

Cake ingredients:
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons blackberry brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ cups fresh or frozen blackberries


Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light with an electric mixer on medium speed.
Add egg.  Beat until smooth.
Combine milk, blackberry brandy and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the batter, beating at low speed after each addition.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 1½ quart baking dish.
Spoon berries evenly over batter.

Crumble topping ingredients:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter


Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Cut in butter until crumbly.
Sprinkle over blackberries.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.

Pam’s note:
Here’s a tip:  I use cold or frozen butter and grate it.  If you are in need of room temperature butter quickly, grate your cold or frozen butter!  I do this with butter in most of my baking and it aids the product in baking perfectly.  Cookies will not spread as they do when using room temperature butter.  Plus, if you decide to bake on the spur of the moment you are not concerned with having cold butter! 

This blackberry buckle gets rave reviews every time, bake it and yours will also!!!

Don’t forget to enter my give-away posted on July 20th!       Here's the link:

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