The Weekend Dish – Creeping Crust Cobbler

… A Creeping Crust Cobbler Recipe and story

Apricots, like most good things, require patience.  The tree stands barren through winter’s chill while you are left to remember and dream, to wait and hope the small fruit arrives by the buckets come summer.

There are many things like an apricot.

Crystal Cove, CA

 A California sunset, for example.  Or, as Deborah Slicer writes in her poem, “Apricot,” “The weight of a small child’s fist, / a girl…”

Apricot Girl with her Nana who made the family’s first Creeping Crust Cobbler.

In our family it was a girl who inspired Nana, the Backyard Sisters’ mom and grandmother to 10, to turn a bumper crop of apricots into Creeping Crust Cobbler, now a summer dessert staple in all the sisters’ homes.

It was the blazing hot summer of 1987 and Nana had come to stay with Catherine who had just given birth to a son.  Nana made a tradition of spending a week with her daughters whenever a new baby was born. One of the joys of this time was getting an extended visit with the older children in the house, and one of the Apricot Girl’s favorite things was picking up fallen fruit from the ground.

Apricots were one of Nana’s favorite fruits and she knew there was something better to be done with this backyard gift than throwing them for Max the Golden Retriever to catch.  “Let’s turn this into something delicious for dessert.”

When Nana asked what sort of cookbooks I had, I pulled out one that her own mother, Gammy to us sisters, had given me as a wedding shower gift.  A Collection of the VERY FINEST RECIPES ever assembled into one Cookbook was exactly the kind of book to find a homey recipe for apricots.

Gammy loved buying cookbooks from church groups or school PTAs and this book was a compilation of a fund-raising cookbook publishers best recipes.  It perfectly captured the sort of mid-western American fare she made most frequently.  Turns out, I put the right tool in the good cook’s hand. On page 189, Nana found a recipe for Creeping Crust Cobbler.  We’ve tweaked it a little over the years.  But there’s one thing that’s never changed; I always remember the summer Nana and the Apricot Girl discovered one of the favorite desserts in the entire Backyard Sister family.

Heat oven to 350.

1/2 C butter
1 C flour
1 C sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 C milk

1 C, or less, sugar.
2 C fruit  We’ve successfully made this with apricots, peaches, plums, and blueberries, or any combination of them all.  You can use the fruit solo or mix together. I usually don’t peel the fruit, but you can if you like.

– Heat fruit with sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts and thickens a little.

– Melt butter in 10-inch baking dish by setting dish with butter in it in heating oven.

– Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
– Add milk and mix.
– Spoon batter in large glops over the melted butter. (Is there anything better than a recipe that uses the word “glops?”)
– Pour fruit and sugar mixture over dough.
– Bake in 350 oven about 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. (Sometimes this bubbles over into your oven so you might want to place the pie pan on a cookie sheet.)
-Crust will rise to the top.  Serve warm or cold.

Superb with a dollop of ice cream. Excellent for breakfast.

With sweetness,
~ Catherine, Sue, Gammy, Nana, and the Apricot Girl

p.s. You can read Deborah Slicer‘s poem, “Apricot,” in its entirety on the Orion magazine website hereOrion is a treasure for anyone interested in nature meets literature meets culture.

4 thoughts on “The Weekend Dish – Creeping Crust Cobbler

  1. Hey, I have made this dessert many times, especially when we had the best nectarine tree at our old house. It is the best. My mouth is watering thinking of this made with apricots, my personal favorite! Thank you for sharing and thank you, apricot girl, for the inspiration for this story!

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