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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