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Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More

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An early fall cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juice beneath a golden cream biscuit. A crunchy oatmeal crisp made with mid-summer’s nectarines and raspberries. Or a comforting pear bread pudding to soften a harsh winter’s day. Simple, scrumptious, cherished–these heritage desserts featuring local fruit are thankfully experiencing a long-due revival.

In Rustic Fruit Desserts, each season’s bounty inspires unique ways to showcase the distinct flavor combinations that appear fleetingly. James Beard Award—winning chef Cory Schreiber teams up with Julie Richardson, owner of Portland’s Baker & Spice, to showcase the freshest fruit available amidst a repertoire of satisfying old-timey fruit desserts, including crumbles, crisps, buckles, and pies.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect ending to a sit-down dinner party or a delicious sweet to wrap up any night of the week, these broadly appealing and easy-to-prepare classics will become family favorites.


Cory Schreiber is the founder of Wildwood Restaurant and winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest. Schreiber now works with the Oregon Department of Agriculture as the Farm-to-School Food Coordinator and writes, consults, and teaches cooking classes in Portland, Oregon.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Julie Richardson grew up enjoying the flavors that defined the changing seasons of her Vermont childhood. Her lively small-batch bakery, Baker & Spice, evolved from her involvement in the Portland and Hillsdale farmers’ markets. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

176 pages, Hardcover

First published April 28, 2009

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Cory Schreiber

4 books4 followers

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5 stars
759 (48%)
4 stars
430 (27%)
3 stars
273 (17%)
2 stars
75 (4%)
1 star
43 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Sandra.
854 reviews7 followers
March 28, 2010
My first dessert did not turn out well (Grandma Freeman's Jam Cake with Brown Sugar Icing), but I will admit to baking errors. The first was over baking. It should be very moist when removed from the oven. Thus, it was just a little on the dry side. The other error was putting the hot icing on a cold cake. The icing recipe called for rum. But our liquor store is closed on Mondays, thus I stored the cake in the fridge till Tuesday, thus hot boiled icing on a cold cake, equals cracked, hard icing!
But Jeff still loved it and is happy munching away at it. The book has some beautiful recipes in it, the kind I like to make, so I have ordered it from Amazon. My next creation will use the rhubarb that has just come up in Chuck's garden. And I will try making Grandma Freeman's Jam Cake again. It is a most excellent way to use up all those jars of Jam that were made in the summer.
Profile Image for Laura.
15 reviews6 followers
August 26, 2009
I love this book. After I bought it, I ran home and made the upside-down pear chocolate cake. It was amazing. Perfectly moist the pears ended up looking like an abstract rose on the top. The pictures are amazing and the recipes simple and straight forward. Definitely one I will be using a lot in the future.
Profile Image for Kerry.
849 reviews
September 5, 2012
I really really really want to try and make some of this stuff! I could only give it 4 stars for now because I've only read the book not baked anything, but let me tell you it looks like some of these could have come directly from my Grammy's oven (I swear it was from the 50's and the best stuff came out of it.)
Profile Image for H.L. Stephens.
Author 3 books62 followers
December 21, 2015
This is a fantastic recipe book for anyone who loves fruit and wants to preserve the flavor of their favorite succulent fruits. It follows what fruits are in season when and offers great options on what to do with them. Love it!
Profile Image for Judy.
914 reviews
August 18, 2009
This is a wonderful book in many ways. It has all kinds of old-fashioned baked fruit desserts (with awesome names like slump, buckle, pandowdy as well as the more traditional pies, crisps, etc.) I have made two of the recipes so far. One -- nectarine, boysenberry, and almond crisp -- is in the oven right now, and the other, stone fruit tea cake, I have made twice, to enthusiastic and concentrated eating.

I like the fact that you don't even need to roll out a crust for many of these. I also like the fact that the book is organized by seasons.

Here is my one criticism, and I consider it a major one: there is no information given about substituting one fruit for another, or otherwise changing around the recipe. At first I decided that I would go ahead and substitute nectarines for peaches - but wait! The recipe mentions that nectarines have more liquid than most stone fruits, which is why it calls for cornstarch. So now I am hesitant to make too many changes. How can you make a recipe your own if you can't switch it up??? I did anyway - I used blackberries instead of boysenberries - but I much prefer a cookbook that assumes you will play around with the recipes, and gives you some guidelines for doing so.

Enough of my rant - I need to check my crisp :-)
1 review
July 18, 2020
I LOVE this cookbook! Living in Oregon with all of the fruits and berries in our yard day, farm stands and farmers’ markets this book is what I’ve been dreaming of! I love pies but I wanted more than a blueberry or marionberry pie recipe. I’ve made the Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit and the Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy (I subbed strawberries for raspberries). Both were big hits served warm with vanilla ice cream. The cornmeal was a different texture for a cobbler but a wonderful surprise! Even with subbing the fruit, the Gingered Pear was very tasty. I was worried about the crystallized ginger in the crust but everyone loved it and it wasn’t overpowering at all. I can’t wait to try the next recipe!
Also, kudos for organizing recipes by season. Living in Oregon, I can flip to the appropriate season run to the apple farm or New Seasons and pick up anything extra I need. Every recipe has clean whole ingredients...I need to check out the Wildwood cookbook.
Profile Image for Anne.
676 reviews
August 16, 2015
Love making "rustic" fruit desserts, so this is right up my alley. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but I have enjoyed reading the book and the recipes and tips over and over again.
The only drawback I can see to this book is that a lot of the recipes are geographic-specific. That is, if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, you won't be able to come by boysenberries and tayberries, etc easily. However, I would suggest altering a recipe to those desserts if you feel inspired. Look forward to using several of these recipes. Pluots are on sale this week and I had no idea what to do with them for baking; they're cheaper than some of the other fruit right now. This book will give you great ideas, as it is based around the seasons of fruit.
Enjoy!
Profile Image for tiasreads.
281 reviews31 followers
November 23, 2010
I would give this cookbook a 3.5 rating. Not because there is anything really wrong with the recipes, but because it is not an overly practical book. Most of the recipes use fruits specific to the Northwestern US that are hard to find elsewhere. (Really, how much rhubarb do you think we grow in the South?) This is especially difficult for those of us who are trying to support local farmers by buying locally and seasonally. The two recipes I've tried were good, but nothing special. The marketing campaign for this book should have been targeted to the appropriate area.
Profile Image for Dayna.
209 reviews
June 14, 2012
I have made several recipes from this cookbook, all of them good. The stone fruit tea bread was amazing...I think that the fresh, homegrown apricots might have had something to do with that! While all of the recipes are rustic fruit desserts, there's still great variety. Not all of it is syrupy fruit and golden crust though, there are other fruit based desserts thrown in. Also, it is sorted by seasons, which I like.
Profile Image for Aja Marsh.
677 reviews
March 9, 2014
Some fun desserts in here-- a few that have inspired me to use up the nectarines and sour cherries I froze over the summer but haven't been sure what to do with. I don't bake much, but most of the recipes in here I'll have to alter to suit my more "wholesome" approach to desserts, but that's easy enough. The recipes are all pretty simple and straightforward, not using a ton of speciality ingredients, and is organized seasonally.
48 reviews
May 29, 2012
So far I've only made the rhubarb buckle with ginger crumb, but it was great, and I want to make just about all of the recipes in this book. I am especially looking forward to the sour cherry cobbler, and the gingered peach and blackberry pandowdy...

Update: the lemon buttermilk rhubarb bundt cake was great, and the rhubarb cream cheese pie with fresh strawberries was fabulous. If you like fruit desserts, you should have this book.
365 reviews9 followers
December 30, 2009
Could have used more pictures of the finished recipes (I like to "know" what I'm making) although the techniques and fruit information are very helpful. The patterns weren't real my style but basic concepts are good. I liked how there was regional anecdotes for most of the recipes, really makes me want to see the Pacific Northwest!
Profile Image for Miss Clark.
2,495 reviews196 followers
February 8, 2010
A lot of tasty and fairly simple fruit desserts which focus on in-season fruit and strongly recommend you use locally grown when possible, which I agree with heartily.

My favorites were the Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake, Cherry Almond Bars, Raspberry Red Currant Cobbler, Grape Galette, and Lemon Blueberry Buckle.
Profile Image for Benjamin.
161 reviews14 followers
November 12, 2010
The book is really aesthetically pleasing, with beautiful photos, heavy paper stock, and warm colors. And the recipes look really, really good. Unfortunately, there's very little in the way of what I would consider to be everyday recipes. These are desserts you'll want to have plenty of time to prepare and a gathering of friends to show off to.
Profile Image for Wilma.
13 reviews
January 6, 2011
I loved this book that broke down basic desserts by the season. These are simple recipes you can incorporate into your meals and have your kids help you make them. Some recipes are more complex than others, but there is easily something for everyone. I've put every single one of these recipes into my meal plans for this year...every single one!
Profile Image for Millicent.
68 reviews6 followers
January 25, 2014
A recipe book for down to earth homely fruit dishes. I made the apple crumble, and the pear-raspberry ginger pandowdy. I found both to be too sour. I was introduced to many flavor and ingredient combinations I hadn't thought of before, but I think I'll design my own recipes, since the result from the dishes I tried weren't stellar.
Profile Image for Lisa.
2,012 reviews16 followers
November 29, 2016
I didn't love this I didn't hate it either. I love that they have the book divided into seasons. I love that they list all of the fruits listed and explained. Some of the recipes seem a little complicated or too many ingredients. I have a couple of recipes bookmarked, but I think that I was just expecting more from this book and it did not deliver.
2 reviews
March 9, 2010
Awesome cookbook organized by seasons to accomodate what's available in the NW. I made a delicious crumble that was a hit at a dinner party--I borrowed this from the library and will now buy it so I can use it every season.
Profile Image for Colleen.
26 reviews4 followers
September 7, 2010
Really wonderful baking book with lots of unique takes on traditional fruit desserts. Loved learning about all the different types of fruit desserts (crumble, crisp, grunt, betty, etc.) and would love to use again at autumn.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
3,080 reviews28 followers
October 27, 2013
My oh my there are some yummy recipes in this book. The book is setup by using utilizing what fresh fruits are available. AND, she tells the differences between cobblers, slumps, galettes, grunts and many more!
Profile Image for Donna Hutt Stapfer Bell.
236 reviews1 follower
October 16, 2016
Nothing but fruit in crusts

Broken down into seasons, this is fruit done both simple and clever. Different tastes together, but simple and unpretentious. Delightful reference book.
Profile Image for Anne.
541 reviews39 followers
December 28, 2014
yummy to read...maybe I should make some of the recipes?
Profile Image for Kim Forsythe.
67 reviews11 followers
August 27, 2009
The pie/cobber is my favorite dessert and this book brings them together by season. Beautiful fruit desserts plus a great reference guide to the different types of pies.
Profile Image for Annette.
18 reviews
September 3, 2009
I want to gorge myself on every recipe in here. So far everything I've made has been delicious. The recipes are simple and easy to follow. Love that it's broken up by season.
Profile Image for Janet.
2,014 reviews20 followers
November 30, 2009
Good stuff. Made the apple pandowdy and copied the recipe for the cranberry bread to be made another time. Yum.
Profile Image for Stacy.
456 reviews25 followers
March 14, 2010
Fantastic. Everything I've made from this book has been bakery-quality level. Delicious - a must for fruit dessert lovers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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