Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
"A Buckle is a sweet dessert made from a yellow batter, resembling cake batter, with the filling mixed in with the batter. Typically a berry filling is placed on top of the batter, then topped with a streusel type topping. The batter rises up as it bakes and the berries and streusel topping sink at uneven intervals, forming a buckled affect in the cake."
"The slump, a New England variety of a cobbler, is a dessert that is basically the same as a grunt as far as ingredients and construction. It consists of fruit, berries, or a mixture of fruit and berries, which are cooked beneath a crust of biscuit or dumpling type dough. [...] The slump was given its name because when served on a plate it has a tendency to slump."
I believe a buckle is more cake like with the berries added to the batter. The topping is usually crumb-like which gives it a buckled appearance, thus the name.
The slump is more like a pie or a cobbler, in that the fruit is baked with the dough on top and is also called a grunt in some States.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Susan G. Purdy, in her delightful "As Easy as Pie" (Atheneum 1984) has an interesting discussion about the terms "slump," "grunt," and "cobbler" (which are one and the same thing).
More info here:
When I think of a slump I think more along the lines of the Pennsylvania Dutch and a savory cobbler so to speak. It has a crust but is then filled with sausage, tomatoes, apples and the like. Sort of another name for pot pie.
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