Slumps, crumbles, cobblers and grunts—like siblings whose parents had an odd sense of humor—share more than just strange names. As with many siblings, their differences are mostly on the surface (or in the crust).
Dig below their toppings and you’ll find that they’re really just variations on the same theme—a homey and soul-satisfying deep-dish fruit pie.
Real cobblers are topped with a pastry. Grunts and slumps, both topped with biscuit dough, differ in that grunts are steamed and slumps are baked. Crumbles, with perhaps the only name that makes immediate sense, are topped with a buttery streusel. But deep down, they’re all the same: summer fruit at peak ripeness brought to full flavor with judiciously spare doses of sugar, lemon juice and spices.
By Damon Lee Fowler, a food writer and culinary historian in Savannah, Ga.