Is It A Good Idea To Top Cobbler With Pie Crust?

Nothing captures the essence of summer quite like a fruit cobbler. This deep-dish dessert highlights an array of seasonal fruits that can taste either sweet and sugary or tart with subtle acidic notes. But how was such a fruity dish "cobbled" together in the past?

According to Ancestral Findings, the cobbler dates back to Dutch and British settlers who stepped foot on American soil. They were quite fond of their English-steamed pudding and pie recipes but had difficulty finding all the ingredients to whip up these dishes. So they improvised and used fruits like cherries, peaches, and blackberries to "cobble" a dessert together. As time passed, spoonfuls of biscuit dough were added on top of the fruit, which was then cooked in a Dutch oven or over a fire. It was easy for pioneers and settlers to make in a pinch — especially compared to a traditional pie.

Fortunately, the tradition continues, and today, fruit cobblers are still primarily made with a thick crust baked over a fruit filling (per What's Cooking America). But what happens when that thick crust is substituted with a pie crust? Is it still a cobbler, or has this delectable dessert transformed into something else entirely?

Ever heard of a pandowdy?

According to Kitchn, using a pastry crust transforms a fruit cobbler into a pandowdy. A pandowdy bears many similarities to a cobbler, in that they're both deep-dish desserts, utilize many different types of fruits in the filling, and their toppings are crumbly in texture (via What's Cooking America). But a pandowdy is typically topped with broken pieces of pie crust or pastry crust, which are gently pressed into the fruit filling with a fork throughout the baking process (via Horticulture).

And if the word "dowdy" comes to mind when looking at the top of a pandowdy, you'd be correct, as the name is thought to originate from the dessert's dull and boring aesthetics (per Horticulture). But despite its appearance, a pandowdy is quite popular to make in many home kitchens, and variations range from old-fashioned apple to double berry flavors.

So if you plan on making a batch of fruit cobbler in the future, steer clear of pie crust, as this will turn a cobbler into a pandowdy. (But it will still taste amazing.)