Even when it is hot outside I still want dessert. But, thinking of turning my oven on when it is 100 degrees outside just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. My air conditioner will never shut off. Well, I have the solution for summertime desserts, it’s the grill. Crazy as it sounds, I am going to grill desserts this summer.
Today I am making Grilled Cherry Pandowdy. Now that cherries are in season it only makes sense to use these sweet little gems, especially since I have quite the large bowl of Bing and Rainer cherries sitting in my kitchen.
Making a pandowdy is super easy. You just need a single pie crust and fruit. You can even use a store bought pie crust and canned or frozen fruit. That’s easy, right!
Pandowdies are like a pie, but they are not a pie. Pandowdies are made with a variety of fruits but its origin started with apples and a pie crust on top. 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, this is what makes the pandowdy so good.
The first thing you need to do is prepare your cherries by pitting, and cutting the cherries in half if they are too big. My suggestion to you is if you do not own a cherry pitter, by all means, go 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 and realized how much faster cherry pitting went, and no red stained fingers.
Since this pandowdy is going on the grill I am using two aluminum cake pans. Doubling up on the pans adds stability to the pandowdy because it will be a bit heavy and the double pans also keep the filling from burning.
Let’s start by heating up the grill. I have a four burner grill and turned the two left burners on high, and the far right burner on low. This is the burner I will set the pandowdy on. The other burner I don’t use. Make sense? If you have a three burner just do the same.
Besides the sweet cherries, you will need a few other ingredients, the aluminum pans, a single pie crust, one can of cherry pie filling, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and orange juice.
Are you asking why I am using cherry pie filling? The reason is I use it is to add a nice sweet sauce to the pandowdy and it is a fast way to get it on the grill.
Mix all the cherries together in the cake pan with the spices and orange juice then cover with the buttery pie crust.
Look are all those colors. This is going to be so good.
Cover the cherries with the pie crust and top with sugar. The sugar melts into the crust and adds some extra flavor and crunchy texture to the crust. And, my Aunt Clare Belle alway did this so I’m copying her.
After about 20 minutes, when the crust has started browning, cut the crust into squares. Now for the fun part, take a spoon push down the squares into the cherries. I usually push down the edges and some of the squares. 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 a half hour for it to cool down a bit and served it up. The crust turned out beautiful; nicely browned and flaky with the filling peeking through those cut squares.
Feel free to change up the fruit or mix and match, there are so many possibilities for a pandowdy. And, of course, you can bake this in your oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
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.
Grilled Cherry Pandowdy
Single Pie Crust
- 1 cup AP flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 6 oz. cherries cleaned, pitted and halved
- 1 8 oz. can cherry pie filling
- 2 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
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.
Making the pie crust
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut in the cold butter
- At the water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork until the dough comes together
- On a floured board, roll out the pie dough so it is large enough to cover the cake/pie pan
- Please the rolled dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Making the Pandowdy
- Directly in the aluminum cake pans mix the cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange juice
- Cover the cherries with the pie crust, trim the edges.
- Sprinkle sugar on top of the pie crust
- 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 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.
- Carefully from the hot grill and let cool before eating.
Here is another great pandowdy, this one using peaches and cherries. See, you can mix and match.
Have you ever grilled dessert? I would love to hear what you made.
Here are my picks for items to make the pandowdy.