Let’s Grill A Dessert
When cherries are in season, I find myself walking out of the grocery store carrying a bag of them without quite remembering how they got into my cart. They look so perfect and sweet that I can’t help it. Now that I have a large bowl of these beautiful red cherries sitting in my kitchen, I need something to make.
What is a pandowdy?
Pandowdies are like a pie, but they are not a pie. Here the fruit goes directly into the pan and then you cover it with a pie crust. Pandowdies can be made with a variety of fruits, but originally had apples. As the pandowdy bakes, the crust is cut into squares and the squares are pushed down into the fruit filling which will bubble up, this is said to make the top look “dowdy” or a little messy. But we all know that messy desserts tend to taste the best, and this pandowdy is no exception.
Some people spell it with two words – pan dowdy. We’ve heard it both ways! Either way, it tastes amazing.
Making a pandowdy is super easy too. You’ll need a single pie crust and fruit. You can even use a store-bought pie crust and canned or frozen fruit. So easy!
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Since this pandowdy is going on the grill, I am using two aluminum cake pans stacked together. Doubling up on the pans adds stability to the pandowdy and will help keep the filling from burning.
Here is the ingredient list for making this Grilled Cherry Pandowdy Recipe
- Sweet Cherries – Bing or Rainier work great and you can combine the two.
- Canned Cherry Pie Filling
- Orange Juice
- Single Pie Crust
Plus you will need two aluminum cake pans.
For this recipe, I like using both canned cherry pie filling and fresh cherries. The canned filling makes a nice, sweet sauce and is a fast way to get this dessert on the grill. The fresh cherries give the dessert a pop of fresh, summer flavor.
How to make Cherry Pandowdy
The crust is the star of the pandowdy, so I prefer using homemade. I have a great recipe for Flaky Pie Crust that is perfect for this dessert. You will want to make the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator while preparing the filling. And, if you prefer, a store-bought pie crust will work just as well.
Now for the cherries. The first thing you need to do is prepare your cherries by pitting them and cutting the cherries in half if they are really big. If you do not own a cherry pitter, this might be the time to get one. For years I thought I didn’t need another gadget in my drawers, but for this recipe, I went all out and spent $10.00 for a pitter. Let’s just say it changed my life (and kept the red stains off my fingers!)
In a large bowl, mix the fresh pitted cherries, cherry pie filling, orange juice, and spices until combined.
Roll out the pie dough to fit the top of the aluminum pan. Leave an inch extra to roll up for the edge. Place the dough over the cherries and crimp the edge.
Heat up the grill. I have a four-burner grill and turned the two left burners on high, and the far-right burner on low. I will set the pandowdy on the low, far-right burner. I don’t use the fourth burner. Make sense? If you have a three burner grill just do the same.
Generously top the pandowdy crust with sugar then place on the grill. Don’t skip this step! The sugar melts into the crust and adds some extra flavor and crunchy texture to the crust.
After about 20 minutes, when the crust has started browning, cut the crust into squares. Next, take a spoon push down the edges of the squares into the cherries. Be careful of the hot grill. Grill for another 20 minutes or until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.
This is what you get…a beautiful, browned, sweet Grilled Cherry Pandowdy.
Carefully remove the pandowdy from the grill. I set mine in a pie plate, waited for a half-hour for it to cool down a bit and served it warm.
The crust turned out beautiful; nicely browned and flaky with the filling peeking through those cut squares.
Want to change up this pandowdy recipe?
Let’s talk about all the possibilities
- You don’t need a grill for this recipe. You can bake the pandowdy in a 400-degree oven for 45 minutes.
- You can change up the fruit or mix and match. Choose fruits that are in season or match your tastes.
- Frozen or canned fruits can be substituted as well.
- You don’t have to wait for the summer heat to grill your desserts. Just remember when you have a big turkey in your oven and don’t have room to a bake some dessert, use your grill instead
Make sure to check out these other One Hot Oven recipes for other grilled desserts.
Try these individually wrapped Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cakes for a fun way to serve this classic dessert.
Have you ever had a grilled peach? This Grilled Honey-Lime Peaches and Pound Cake is a simple way to serve a decadent dessert.
Don’t forget to pin for later when you want a delicious dessert.
Let’s Grill A Pandowdy
Grilled Cherry Pandowdy
Preparing the Grill and the Aluminum Pans
- Heat the grill - I use a gas grill with four burners. The two left burners are on high and the right burner is on low. the other burner is not lit. You will have to adjust according to your specific grill.
- Use two disposable aluminum pans stacked together to grill the pandowdy.
Making the Pandowdy
- In a large bowl combine the fresh pitted cherries, the cherry pie filling, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange juice then transfer to a disposable aluminum cake pan.
- Roll the pie dough into a circle that is large enough to fit over the pan. Leave an inch around to crimp the dough.
- Cover the cherries with the pie dough, trim the edges and crimp the dough.
- Sprinkle sugar on top of the pie dough
- Grill for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is starting to brown
- Using a knife, cut the pie crust into 1" squares then with a spoon gently poke down the edges of the squares into the hot filling. You do not have to do all the squares.
- Grill for another 20 minutes or so until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Check on the pandowdy to make sure the crust is not getting too brown.
- Carefully remove from the hot grill and let cool before eating.
Here is what I use to make the cherry pandowdy.
Have you ever grilled dessert? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear what you made.