Pandowdy is one of my favorite desserts, it combines the two things I really like; pie crust and fruit. This isn’t considered a pie though, it’s more like a cobbler with a pie crust on top. A pandowdy is a dessert made mostly with apples, but I use other fruits, and it has a pie crust on top that has been cut into squares which allows the juices to flow up over the top. What I really like about this dessert is you can eat it while it’s warm, unlike a pie that really needs to cool or else all the filling runs out of the crusts. With a pandowdy, you merely take it out of the oven, let it cool a bit and then spoon the warm filling into your bowl and enjoy. It’s definitely a comfort food.
I love all the old fashion desserts; they are rustic with basic ingredients that are easy to make and make your kitchen smell like heaven.
Here’ all the fun names of the old desserts that I think are worth mentioning. I say let’s bring back these old-timers for a new generation of foodies:
Betty or Brown Betty – baked with fruit on the bottom and a layer of buttered crumbs on top
Buckle – cake with a layer of berries baked into it with a streusel topping that looks buckled when baked
Crisp – baked with fruit on the bottom and a crumb mixture on top
Cobbler – baked with fruit on the bottom and a thick biscuit crust on top- the biscuit dough looks like cobblestones
Crumble – a crumble is the British version of American’s crisp, it’s not as rich
Grunt – Like a steamed fruit pudding with a biscuit dough top
Pandowdy – A spoon pie with a broken up pie crust or biscuit dough on top of fruit
Cherries were everywhere last week at the El Dorado Hills farmer’s market. There is something about all those little red fruits all piled up that make me want to grab a handful. I couldn’t resist and bought a pint.
At the same stand were these gorgeous peaches, so they went into my bag too, ready for some unknown dessert to make that night.
Hamlow Ranches is where I bought my fruit this week. These peaches and cherries were ripe, sweet and juicy. They also had white peaches, apricots and nectarines.
So let’s make a Spiced Peach and Cherry Pandowdy
For the pie crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbls sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbls cold butter
4 – 5 tbls cold water
1. In large bowl mix the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture become like coarse crumbs. Add in the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Add more water if dough is too dry.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12″ circle about 1/4″ thick, or enough to cover your pie plate.
3. Chill until ready to use.
For the filling:
2 1/2 pounds ripe, firm peaches peeled and sliced (about 5 cups)
1 cup fresh pitted cherries, halved
2 1/2 tbls. lemon juice
1 cups brown sugar
2 tbls. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbls. cold butter cut into small cubes
1 tbls sugar(for pie crust topping)
4. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.
5. In a large bowl add the peaches and mix in the sugar mixture and lemon juice.
6. Lightly toss in the cherries.
7. Pour the fruit mixture into your 9″ pie plate.
8. Dot with the butter cubes.
9. Place chilled pie crust on top of fruit, centered over filling.
10. Trim dough 1/2″ from side of pie plate and tuck dough inside the rim.
Baking the pandowdy:
11. Have oven preheated to 375 degrees
12. Place pandowdy on a baking sheet just in case of juices bubbling over rim.
13. Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven
This is the fun part!
14. With a sharp knife cut 1 inch squares into pie crust and with the back of a spoon, gently press crust down into the filling just until the juices start covering the crust.
15. Sprinkle 1 tbls. of sugar over crust and return to oven and bake an additional 25 -30 minutes. Your peaches and cherries should be tender and the juices bubbling over the pie crust and usually over the rim of the pie plate (that’s the good part.)
Here it is right out of the oven all bubbly and smelling yummy!
Twenty minutes later still, still warm from the oven and ready to eat. The crust is flaky and buttery and the fruit is lightly sweetened and tender. Dig in, this dessert won’t last long.