In the aftermath of the debacle there were questions, reasonable ones.
• How could this have happened? What recipe did you use?
I used a recipe I found online from what I thought was from a reliable source. Fake news, meet fake recipes. But here’s the thing, I didn’t double-check the recipe, comparing it with other recipes, like a smart person would do.
After the debacle, when I found a wonderful recipe by the Barefoot Contessa, I realized that I had used a recipe with the wrong batter to fruit ratio.
• Did you set the oven to the correct temperature?
I did, but after the debacle I checked the oven temperature with a thermometer to confirm that the oven was heating like it should. It is not.
In fact it’s heating about 25º below where it should be so the cobbler baked at the wrong temperature. Hence, the cobbler remained a soggy mess even when it’d been in the oven for twice the suggested time.
• How much money did you waste on this debacle?
Oh, the shame. I hang my head as I tell you that I bought raspberries and blackberries and blueberries for this untested recipe, assuming it’d be a wonderful desert. But it wasn’t, it never even made it to the table– thus my $12.00 worth of berries were lost.
• And from a good friend trying to distract me: what are the differences among the various fruit-based desserts? Do you know?
I didn’t know the answer to her question, so I did some research, which was a good way for me, an egghead, to get over the debacle. This is what I learned.
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BROWN BETTY – fresh fruit [often apples], spiced, then baked under buttered bread crumbs
BUCKLE – single layer cake that rises up around the fruit that is in the middle, making fruit buckle down, while cake forms circle above it
CLAFOUTI – fresh fruit [often cherries] covered with a flan-like batter and baked, usually in a cast iron skillet
COBBLER – fruit sweetened in a way that creates a thick syrup, with dough plopped on top like individual biscuits that when baked looks like a cobblestone street
CRISP – fresh fruit, spiced with cinnamon [+ other spices sometimes], baked with streusel topping
CRUMBLE – buttery crumbs that include oats with sweetened fruit baked between two layers of crumbs
GRUNT – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top, named for the sound the fruit makes while it cooks
PANDOWDY – a baked pie [usually apple] that has a thick crust on top with slits that allow the juices to bubble up onto the top of the pie, then using a spoon one pushes the crust down as it bakes so that the dessert looks dowdy when taken from the oven
PIE – sweetened and thickened fruit as the filling, baked, usually in a round pan, between lower pastry and top pastry or crumb topping
PING – fruit [usually cherries], covered in a sweet sauce, with spoonfuls of dough that form a crust on top that when tapped makes a hollow pinging sound that indicates it’s finished baking
SHORTCAKE – I’m not going down this road again… click here & read what we discussed earlier this year
SLUMP – fruit base with sweetened biscuits or dumplings on top, cooked in covered skillet on the stove top wherein the topping slumps into the fruit
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Sources of general information + a few specific recipes: Serious Eats, Huffington Post, the spruce Eats, FLOURISH, kitchn, Cook’s Country, COOKS.COM.
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I’ve eaten 9 of the 12 desserts defined above. I’ve not had Brown Betty, nor have I had Grunt or Slump– which some sources say are the same thing. 🤨