Friday Fun: History of Pie

Blueberry Buckle

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” William Shakespeare once said. If that’s true, would the same logic work for a delicious fruit filled pie if it were called a grunt, a crow’s nest pudding, a buckle or a slump?

The pie, or “pye,” has been around since 2nd century B.C., when a Roman housewife came up with the idea of sealing meat inside a flour and oil paste and baked it. The concept of the pie expanded through the centuries to include fruit. Early settlers of America, eager to use their favorite recipes from home, were masters at improvising when they couldn’t find ingredients, even using primitive equipment on open hearths. Steamed bread pudding, for example, became a baked Apple Brown Betty. Early colonists were so fond of these juicy dishes that they often served them as the main course, for breakfast, or even as a first course. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that fruit laden pie-like dishes became primarily desserts.

Today, adaptations of the pie have emerged from regions: crumble, cobbler, crisp, Brown Betty, tart, torte, pandowdy, grunt, slump, buckles, croustade, bird’s nest pudding. The origin of the names is based, more or less, on the placement of the dough. In New England, fruit cobbler is baked in a baking dish or frying pan, with several lumps of biscuit or scone dough dropped on top. Other regions place the dough on the bottom and cover it with fruit. Wherever the dough happens to be place, these pie-like desserts are based on whatever fresh ingredients are in your kitchen, ready to be used. They’re meant to be humble and homemade, relying more on taste than fancy pastry preparation. My kind of pie!

Crisps, crumbles and their pie-ish cousins have the comforting taste of a made-from-scratch dessert, filled with seasonal fruit and berries, finished off with a golden-brown topping. Best of all, they don’t take much prep work. The magic happens in the oven while you tend to more pressing matters, like enjoying a lovely summer evening.

logo-mainFind out the difference between a crisp from a crumble and a slump from a sonker and get Suzanne’s favorite Blueberry Buckle recipe over at!

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Carrie says:

    I know this post is about pie, big fan by the way of all things pie, but I have been searching high and low for a crows nest pudding recipe like my mother used to make years ago, and so far have been unable to locate one.

    I would love if you could share the recipe for crows nest!

  2. Aw, this was a very good post. Taking a few minutes and actual
    effort to generate a good article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  3. Elizabeth Rhodes says:

    I have been married to my best friend for 33 years. God Blessed with 2 girls and a special needs son. they rang from 30-23.. We very proud grand parent of 4 grand children 10-4 years.. I am a bladder cancer survivor as of March 2014 cased from 2nd hand smoke as a child.. In 2007 I had an aneurism in my spleen and was in God’s hands if I would live through this.. .. I Praise God every day that He has giving me an other day to be with my family.. I started read all the Amish books back then and have not been able to afford to purchase to many.. But I get them from book sale and library ‘s when they have them at their book sales. when I can.. God Bless you all that write these wonderful loving books of the challenges of life and Christians in this world..

    • Oh Elizabeth…you’ve had some big challenges, and big blessings, too. So glad you feel lifted up when you read Amish fiction. And so glad you’re a library user…I am, too! At least once a week, I’m in our public library. Our church library, too. Hope you might win a book from the blog giveaways. They’re going on all the time! Warmly, Suzanne