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Recipe of the Week: Cobblers, crisps, crumbles, betties, grunts


With all of the juicy peaches, nectarines, blackberries and raspberries currently in season locally, I have been thinking about cobblers, crisps, crumbles, betties and grunts.

All of these are easy-to-make fruit desserts that go together without muchwork but produce luscious, juicy seasonal delights.

Cobblers traditionally are fruit baked with biscuit dough topping, while crisps have a crunchy top. The crunch can come from oats, nuts or brown sugar, depending on the recipe.

Crumbles come from the British, who rub butter and flour together to make a topping for their fruit. A betty is a dessert made of alternate layers of fruit and buttered crumbs, sugar, and spices baked in a large baking dish, while a grunt is a combination of a cobbler and a crisp that gets its name from the sound it makes when baking.

The recipe below is a new one for me; adapted by from Anna Stockwell’s cookbook “For the Table,” it combines cake and fruit. I will betrying it with a combination of peaches and blackberries.

Hot Summer Spoon Cake


● 2½ to 3 cups raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries*

● 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

● zest (grated rind) of 1 lemon

● 3 tablespoons lemon juice


● ½ cup granulated sugar

● ½ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour

● ½ cup almond flour

● 1 teaspoon baking powder

● ½ teaspoon salt

● ¼ cup milk, whole preferred

● 1 large egg

● 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

● 8 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.

2. To prepare the fruit: In a medium bowl, toss together the berries, sugar, zest,and lemon juice. Let sit until the fruit is glossy and has started to release its juice, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

3. To make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flours, bakingpowder, and salt.

4. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla.

5. Place the butter in an 8” square pan or 1½- or 2-quart baking dish and putit in the oven to melt; it’ll take 4 to 6 minutes using butter that’s cold from the fridge.

6. Once the butter has melted, swirl it around in the baking dish so it coats the sides, then pour it into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula to thoroughly combine.

7. Add the milk mixture and whisk well to incorporate.

8. Immediately transfer the batter to the warm buttered baking dish, then gently spoon the macerated fruit and its juice over the top. The fruit mixture should cover the batter almost entirely with a few bare spots peeking through.

9. To bake the cake: Bake until golden brown and puffed, 30 to 35 minutes.

10.Remove from the oven and serve warm. Whipped cream or ice cream dolloped on top is especially delicious.

Storage information: Refrigerate any leftovers, covered, for up to four days.