Hearth & Home

Hearth and Home by Daphne Ross

A Sweet Dessert is the Day I Live In

Fruit and dough are the two needed ingredients for those classic fruit desserts that grandma used to make; recipes she could dump, toss, and roll into the sweetest comfort food delivered to the table.

Depending on the area where you grew up or where your own cooking kitchen is now, explains the difference in how you prepare your fruit and dough, and what you name your recipe, a crisp or a crumble, a buckle or a dump cake.

One thing we can all agree on is this, when shopping for dessert ingredients be certain to list your favorite dairy whipped topping and/or the creamiest vanilla ice cream available. Don't insult your dessert with non-dairy accompaniments.

A buckle is mostly berry fruit mixed into or spooned over a yellow cake batter, and then topped with crumbs and baked. The cake rises as it bakes, wrapping the fruit, and then it buckles, dropping the rise into a fruity dessert when falling dough is actually wanted.

A cobbler is a fruit filling dessert baked with a solid dough crust which set over top or biscuits "cobbled" together. Usually the crust is placed over the fruit but can be baked under the fruit. If you are a crust lover, crust your dessert on both bottom and top.

A fruit crisp is our family favorite, most commonly preparing fresh apples for the fruit filling. A crumbly topping mixture of butter, brown sugar, oats, and flour is sprinkled over the fruit filling before baking. We just love that crunchy topping.
An English fruit dessert, the crumble closely resembles our American old-fashioned fruit crisp. This version has a shortbread style topping of oats, butter, flour and brown sugar.

The Brown Betty is similar to a crisp, but the topping is layered into the fruit mixture before baking. A good example of layering is in the Brown Betty dessert recipe listed below. It uses hearty wheat bread pieces in the layers instead of a fresh mixed sweet dough.

A grunt or slump fruit dessert is not a sweet, baked treat prepared by a grumpy baker, a grunt is biscuit dough spooned over fruit and stove top steamed. The dough is more like dumplings that set up but don't brown. It has been told while cooking the dumplings making a grunting noise. You can report back to me later.

The andowdy fruit dessert is sliced fruit topped with a biscuit batter that gets crisp and crumbly. During the last couple minutes of baking, the crust is cut up and pressed into the fruit so it absorbs the sweet, syrupy juices. I would use a dark colored fruit, such blueberries and blackberries. Their bubbling out and over color makes a mouth water.

Ala mode is the best way to eat a bubbling fruit dessert, that melting creaminess is the cool on the heat. I would also enjoy any of these desserts with a glass of ice cold milk on the left and steaming hot coffee on the right.

Gather your sweetest fruit recipes, mail, and share with Hearth & Home, 5973 Blachleyvile Rd., Wooster, Ohio, 44691. Emails are always welcome: thewritecook@sssnet.com

Mixed Fruit Buckle
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups peaches, peeled and cut
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon anise
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
13 x 9 baking dish
Pour lemon juice and sugar over fruit. Mix cornstarch and water; add to fruit. Mix spices and add to fruit; stir mixture and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Mix flour, baking powder, and sugar; slowly add milk to prevent lumping. Fold do not whisk mixture into melted butter; spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in liquid. Do not mix. Batter will rise to the top during baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Raspberry and Peach Cobbler
For the Topping:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/8 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
For the Filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raspberries
Topping: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in the butter with pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add cream and with fork stir until combined. On a lightly floured surface knead 5 times. Pat into a 1/2-inch thick round; use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. Put the biscuits on a baking sheet and chill until ready to use. Filling: Melt butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Add peaches, flour, honey, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook, stir occasionally, until bubbly, about 4minutes. Stir in raspberries; arrange biscuits on top. Brush biscuits with cream; sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Transfer skillet to oven; bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. May cover loosely with foil if biscuits brown too quickly. Cool slightly before serving.

Apple Brown Betty
2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
8 slices wheat bread, diced
3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place half the diced bread in baking dish, and then sprinkle on half the diced apples, half the brown sugar and half the butter. Repeat with another layer of bread, apples, brown sugar and butter. End by sprinkling 1/2 cup water all over the surface, a spoonful at a time.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Peach and Raspberry Crisp
10 to 12 large peaches
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold butter, diced
Grease a 10 x15 x 2 inch oval baking dish. Peel peaches and slice into thick wedges; place into large bowl. Add zest, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour. Toss well. Gently mix in raspberries. Set aside for 5 minutes. If too much liquid, add 1tablespoon flour. Pour peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth top. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and cold, diced butter into bowl. Mix on low speed until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top peaches and raspberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, until top crispy golden and juices are bubbling.

Blueberry Pandowdy
1 1/2 cups cream
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 pints blueberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup light molasses
2 tablespoons butter
Whip cream until stiff peaks form. In a second bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in cream until just combined. On floured surface, roll dough 1/2-inch thick. Set aside. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Pour into a 9-inch baking dish; drizzle with molasses and butter pieces. Top with dough and tuck into the mixture. Cut vents in the top of dough. Bake at 375 degree 30 minutes.

Blackberry Grunt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces chilled butter, diced
1 cup buttermilk
4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Put flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into food processor ; process 4 pulses. Pour mixture into a large bowl, with hands work butter into flour mixture until about half is in pea-size pieces. Make a well in center of mixture, add the buttermilk; stir just until it comes together. Place mixture on lightly floured waxed paper, shape into ball; wrap and refrigerate. Combine blackberries, sugar, water and ginger in a large bowl. Pour mixture into a 10-inch cast iron skillet; place over medium heat. Bring to simmer, decrease heat to low, continue to cook, stir occasionally for 15 minutes. Evenly distribute chilled dough over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until top just starts to brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Slump
1 pint strawberries cut into large pieces
2 cups cut-up rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
In a small pan combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, combine quickly. Drop batter into slightly bubbling fruit. Cook uncovered for 10 minute, then place on a lid; cook 10 more minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

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