We tease people when they start licking their plates—it’s that good. Do not omit the raspberry liquor as it is key to developing layers of flavor here. You’ll find Chambord in the liquor section at the market.

Apple Raspberry Fruit Crisp Serves 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup Chambord

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pints fresh raspberries

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the apples and ¾ cup sugar and cook until the apples release their juices, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Chambord and vanilla. Place the apple mixture in a shallow baking dish, add the raspberries to the dish, and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and process just to combine. Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture is crumbly. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.

3. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

To easily remove the skins from the peaches, cut an “X” in the bottom of each and blanche the peaches in boiling water for 15 seconds. When cool enough handle, peel the skins away with a paring knife.

Easy Peach Cobbler Serves 6

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ pounds firm-ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1. Pour the melted butter into a shallow baking dish and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the peach slices, lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and pepper to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the milk and stir until just combined. Pour the batter over the melted butter and pour the peaches over the batter. Do not stir. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the juices are bubbling and golden brown, approximately 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Aptly named, the cake will buckle under the weight of its topping as it bakes. Any fruit will work here, but choose blueberries now as they are at the peak of ripeness and so very good for you.

Blueberry Buckle Serves 6

2/3 cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 pints fresh blueberries

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the 2/3 cup sugar, ½ cup flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the 4 tablespoons butter until crumbly. Set aside the topping mixture.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the 1-½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the 12 tablespoons butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

3. Spread the batter in a lightly greased shallow baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the top. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until browned and a wooden skewer piercing the middle comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

Exchange the plums for any stone fruit. The nectarine is firm like the plum and makes a wonderful substitution. Or choose a medley o f berries such blue, black, and raspberry and substitute the plum brandy for a teaspoon of vanilla.

Fresh Plum Crumble Serves 6

2 pounds fresh plums, halved, pitted and sliced

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons plum brandy

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

½ cup old-fashioned oats

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. In a bowl, combine the plums, ½ cup sugar, and brandy and place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt, almonds, and oats. Add the butter and pulse just until crumbly.

3. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit and bake in a 400-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is tender, approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

When you’re in a rush but still want something delicious and memorable for dessert, don’t look any further that this. (If you’re really pressed for time, use frozen cherries already pitted!)

Fresh Cherry Crisp Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted

3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond flavoring

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1. In a bowl, combine the fruit with 3 tablespoons sugar and toss together. Arrange the fruit in the bottom of a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon juice.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 1-½ cups sugar, and salt and process just to combine. Add the almond flavoring and butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.

3. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Buckles, slumps, grunts, a dowdy pan and some long lost lady named Betty have somehow worked their way into the lexicon of fresh fruit desserts. I love to cook but baking is another matter. Too much of a science project for me most of the time. Not so with these old-fashioned down-home desserts. Cobble, crisp, crumble, crunch… whatever you want to call them, these uncomplicated classics are simply sweetened baked fruit with a crumbly or cake-like topping. No accuracy called for here. Simply assembling a few ingredients with fresh fruit and you have a delicious baked dessert perfect for the quintessential Sonoma evening.

These are my casual company desserts all summer long. Really just a combination of fruit and dough, the names vary in the mix of ingredients and resulting textures. A crisp is a combination of flour, sugar and butter rubbed together and scattered over the fruit. Like a crisp, a crumble is a blend of berries with a sugary, crumbled topping. A cobbler is stewed fruit covered with a thick biscuit-like crust giving it a “cobbled” effect.

No one knows for sure who Betty was but the dessert attributed to her is always made with buttered breadcrumbs. A buckle is made with a cake-like batter with the fruit folded in. It’s then topped with a heaping crumbled streusel. As it bakes, the cake “buckles” from the weight of the generous topping creating pockets of sweetness.

The oddly-named pandowdy is almost always made with spiced apples and topped with a biscuit batter that is pushed into the fruit giving it a dowdy or plain appearance. A grunt, sometimes called a slump, is fruit topped with a dumpling batter and cooked on the stove. As the fruit cooks, it bubbles and grunts — and slumps when served.

No matter the obscure name, each dish is delicious and easy to prepare. And because the recipes are so adaptable, you can readily experiment with whatever ingredients are available. Start with the freshest fruit from the roadside stand, farmers market or produce section. Exchange the called-for berries or stone fruits to your liking. You’ll most likely have the staple ingredients right in your pantry – flour and sugar in your cupboard and butter in the fridge. As you create the dish, improvise with the addition of oats and nuts or your favorite spice combination. Baking fruit intensifies its natural sweetness and softens its texture. More or less sugar will balance too tart or extra sweet fruit. Assemble the mixture in a shallow baking dish such as a cake pan or pie dish and bake until the fruit juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown.

Whether a crisp with lots of crunch or a berry buckle with cake-like crumble, wait to serve them until cooled. I prefer to make the dessert earlier in the day so by the time I serve it, the juices have thickened nicely. And even though these treats are delicious on their own, I always include a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream, or a dollop of tangy crème fraiche. Enjoy!

We tease people when they start licking their plates—it’s that good. Do not omit the raspberry liquor as it is key to developing layers of flavor here. You’ll find Chambord in the liquor section at the market.

Apple Raspberry Fruit Crisp Serves 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup Chambord

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pints fresh raspberries

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the apples and ¾ cup sugar and cook until the apples release their juices, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Chambord and vanilla. Place the apple mixture in a shallow baking dish, add the raspberries to the dish, and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and process just to combine. Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture is crumbly. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.

3. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

To easily remove the skins from the peaches, cut an “X” in the bottom of each and blanche the peaches in boiling water for 15 seconds. When cool enough handle, peel the skins away with a paring knife.

Easy Peach Cobbler Serves 6

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ pounds firm-ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1. Pour the melted butter into a shallow baking dish and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the peach slices, lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and pepper to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the milk and stir until just combined. Pour the batter over the melted butter and pour the peaches over the batter. Do not stir. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the juices are bubbling and golden brown, approximately 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Aptly named, the cake will buckle under the weight of its topping as it bakes. Any fruit will work here, but choose blueberries now as they are at the peak of ripeness and so very good for you.

Blueberry Buckle Serves 6

2/3 cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 pints fresh blueberries

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the 2/3 cup sugar, ½ cup flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the 4 tablespoons butter until crumbly. Set aside the topping mixture.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the 1-½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the 12 tablespoons butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

3. Spread the batter in a lightly greased shallow baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the top. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until browned and a wooden skewer piercing the middle comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

Exchange the plums for any stone fruit. The nectarine is firm like the plum and makes a wonderful substitution. Or choose a medley o f berries such blue, black, and raspberry and substitute the plum brandy for a teaspoon of vanilla.

Fresh Plum Crumble Serves 6

2 pounds fresh plums, halved, pitted and sliced

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons plum brandy

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

½ cup old-fashioned oats

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. In a bowl, combine the plums, ½ cup sugar, and brandy and place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt, almonds, and oats. Add the butter and pulse just until crumbly.

3. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit and bake in a 400-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is tender, approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

When you’re in a rush but still want something delicious and memorable for dessert, don’t look any further that this. (If you’re really pressed for time, use frozen cherries already pitted!)

Fresh Cherry Crisp Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted

3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond flavoring

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1. In a bowl, combine the fruit with 3 tablespoons sugar and toss together. Arrange the fruit in the bottom of a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon juice.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 1-½ cups sugar, and salt and process just to combine. Add the almond flavoring and butter and process until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.

3. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!