Get the skinny, plus delicious recipes for each.

By Victoria Spencer
May 29, 2019
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Pies get most of the glory but why? There are myriad delectable combinations of crusty goodness and ripe fruit that are so much quicker and easier to make, no pastry needed. Make them in round dishes, square dishes, or oval, they're easygoing and adaptable. First learn the lexicon so you know whether you're a crisp or a crumble fan or if you crave cobbler or are buckle all the way. Next decide what fruit filling pairs best with your preferred topping. Go with one fruit or a combination, we often mix tart and sweet types-say, blackberries with peaches or apples with cranberries. Finally, revel in the simple deliciousness of these downhome desserts.

Crisps

A crisp is fruit baked with a sugary, streusel-like topping, generally containing oats or nuts (or both). This elemental combination tops just about any fruit from rhubarb and strawberry in spring to pears in the fall.

Peach Crumble
Credit: Con Poulos

Crumbles

Fairly similar to a crisp and also very easy to make and absolutely delicious, that's a crumble. It's basically a crisp minus the oats or nuts. Follow our basic formula and turn any fruit into fruit crumble.

fruit cobbler
Credit: Martyna Szczesna

Cobblers

Same kind of fruit base, different golden topping-in this case biscuit dough, dropped in dollops and sprinkled with sugar. Sometimes a cobbler is topped with carefully cut-out biscuits but usually it's more homey. Our basic recipe is for apricot cobbler with strawberries but includes variations for cherry, plum-nectarine, mixed berry, and peach-raspberry because truly, almost any fruit is delicious here.

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Buckles

A charmingly old-fashioned dessert that deserves a comeback, a buckle is a single-layer cake with berries or cut-up fruit in the batter, giving it a "buckled," or indented, appearance. There's more batter-to-fruit ratio than in the other desserts but, like it's crisp, crumble, and cobbler relations, it's simple to make and lovely to eat.

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