Though I am definitely not one to expect (or want) a single, static definition of anything I consider to be a cultural artifact, I figured that, prior to taking a look at regional terms for cobbler, it would be handy to have a couple of working definitions.
After undertaking what can only be called a rigorous survey of recipes and definitions for both pie and cobbler, I will attempt to draw a distinction between the two.
Pies are baked in shallower dishes than cobblers. Pies have a pastry crust lining the bottom of the pan and usually another layer of pastry crust on top, with crimped edges all the way around, holding the top and bottom together.
Pies are served in slices.
Cobblers are baked in deeper dishes. Cobblers are often made with no bottom crust and a thick, biscuit-style crust on top. (I realize there are many, many variations on this theme and we will explore several of them in the upcoming cobbler post.)
The biscuit-esque crust gives the top of the thing a cobbled-street appearance, hence (perhaps?) the name.
Cobblers are served in bowls.
We’ll be checking in on cobbler terms and variations soon. After I do some hands-on research.