Whats a Pan Dowdy?

Cobblers and dowdies, crisps and crumbles, buckles and betties-what are all these desserts?

With a little help from American Desserts by Wayne Brachman, we thought we would give you the answers-since you're just dying to know.

Cobblers: Cobblers are desserts with a syrupy fruit filling topped with biscuits or cake.

Pan Dowdies: These have pie crusts on top which are broken up and dunked in the fruit filling after baking.

Crisps and Crumbles: These familiar desserts have pie-like fillings with streusel toppings, often with nuts. A crisp is a crumble and a crumble is a crisp.

Buckles: Buckles are cakes that sink, and rise, and buckle as they bake. Our Caramel Swirl Crumb Cake is really a buckle-the caramel topping buckles through the cake as it bakes.

Betties: We remember apple betties from our childhood. Betties are fruit and crumb layered desserts.

Shortcakes: These are biscuits, often rich or sweetened biscuits, that are topped with fruit and whipped cream. Our Strawberry Shortcake recipe is an authentic shortcake recipe-not a white cake recipe topped with strawberries and cream.

Grunts and Slumps: These are fruit and dumpling dishes cooked on top of the stove. Supposedly, the fruit "grunts" as it cooks and the dumplings "slump" down into the filling. (We've made these out camping but we've never heard the fruit "grunt".)

Now you know.

Read on for related dessert recipes >

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