Apples…Buckles, Crumbles and Cast Iron Pans..
For the last few weeks, we have been getting a produce delivery, which in it self will be a separate blog entry. In these deliveries, we get a bountiful supply of seasonal fruits and veggies that we live off of all week, until the next batch arrives. Lately, we have been getting apples, a fruit that I like just fine, but love even more, when it is baked into a crisp, crumble or pie. For some reason, I have never been a raw apple eating person. I think it is because my teeth are so damn sensitive, that it hurts sometimes, biting into and chewing an apple, especially if it is cold and tart.
(the thought even makes my teeth hurt)
When we received some Granny Smith’s, the Mother of all tart apples, in our bin this week, I decided that something needed to be done to remedy this dire situation.
SO, I looked in one of my favorite basic baking books for some inspiration. As I was looking, I came across an interesting section on comfort desserts. I imagine that you have heard of a cobbler, a crumble and a crisp? Well, do you know the difference between them? Did you know that there are desserts out there with the names of Slumps, Grunts and Buckles? How about the Pandowdy?
Who names a dessert, the Pandowdy?
Here is the run down…
A Crumble topping contains oatmeal, Crisp toppings do not.
A Buckle is basically a streusel topped fruity coffeecake. The name comes from the action of the cake batter as it bakes, buckling and rising around and above the sinking fruit, to create a craggy surface.
A Grunt and A Slump is basically the same thing. Fruit cooked in a cast iron pan with spoonfuls of biscuit dough atop. The name Grunt comes from the sound the concoction makes as the fruit cooks and the bubbles make their way up through the biscuit topping..then, once served, the dessert Slumps on the plate in a heap of sweet juicy goodness.
A Cobbler is fruit baked under a blanket of crust or cake batter. The name supposedly comes from the phrase, to Cobble, which means to put together roughly. This could mean the way the batter/dough is layered over the fruit, or the fact that the dessert can be thrown together in a hurry?
And, my favoritely named, the Pandowdy, is a combination of pie and pudding. A fruit based filling is baked in a casserole dish covered with a pie crust on the bottom and top. After baking the top crust is “dowdied” or broken up so that the parts of it are immersed in the filling, soaking up the liquid of the fruit. This leaves you with a pudding like dessert.
Hmm, now, for MY dessert.
I am further inspired by the fact that we received a cast iron pan for our wedding. (thanks AbbyKens!) and that we also received a Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, written by my first employer, Julie Hearne. (thanks Carolyn!) I owe Julie many thanks for being the first to introduce me to the great world of food and cooking, as a profession. She was the first to take me, freshly out of college and very green, under her wing. SO, I felt it my duty to support her by buying her book…or, well, registering for it, and hoping that we would get it..
SO, you might see where I am going with this.
I have some very tart Granny Smiths, a new, partially seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, and inspiration from two great cookbooks…
Today, I will be making an Apple Grunt/Slump, or maybe I should call it..
After making and consuming the Grump, I have come to the conclsion that it is almost identical to a shortcake. It was good and tasty, but I do think that it seemed a little naked without that scoop of Pumpkin Gelato...