An apple pandowdy is a homey dessert. It’s rustic in appearance and rich in taste which makes it an ideal dessert for a cold winter’s eve. It’s also a dessert that’s been immortalized in song: “Shoo-fIy Pie & Apple Pandowdy” popularized by both Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Shore.
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
Makes your eyes light up,
Your tummy say “howdy.”
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff.
Apple pandowdy is not something I grew up eating, but it’s similar to a crisp or a crumble or a grunt: rich biscuit topping and a spicy fruit filling. But the twist with a pandowdy is that molasses and lemon juice are mixed in with the apples so the flavour is deep and dark. I spotted the recipe from Gourmet and I was eager to give it a try – but I wanted to mix it up a bit. I figured that ginger would be a great addition since the flavours were so similar to gingerbread already. My hunch was right and the ginger was fantastic.
The one thing that I would change with this recipe is to only make half the biscuit dough. I found that with my 9″ diameter casserole dish it was just too much biscuit for too little hot apple goodness. If you had a wider deep deep dish, I’d double the apple mixture and keep the biscuit recipe as is. Your call.
We ate this up eagerly on a cold Sunday night and loved every single bite. The ginger addition really made the whole thing come alive and helped to prepare our taste buds for the coming holidays. I would imagine that this would be extra delicious with a scoop of ice cream or a floppy dollop of boozy whipped cream. Seriously.
elsewhere: Check out my most recent ReadyMade post about stock – where I share a very dirty little secret of mine. Are you short on time and in need of a big bowl of comfort? Head over to Poppytalk and check out my recipe for speedy pasta & cheese (with bonus vegetables!). Perfect for these busy busy times.
ginger apple pandowdy
(adapted from Gourmet)
1/3 c molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
2 T water
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t grated nutmeg
1/4 t grated cardamom
pinch ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 – 1/3 c candied ginger, diced
1 T whole wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
2 T unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 c whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
3 t sugar
1/2 t salt
8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 c yogurt
1/4 c milk
1 T raw sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients except the butter. Stir until everything is coated and delightfully gooey. Pour apple mixture into a deep casserole dish (approx. 9″ in diameter). Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and give it a whisk to aerate the mixture. Add in the butter and use your fingers to blend into the flour, so that it resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk. Pour into the flour/butter mix and use a wooden spoon to stir it all together into a dough.
Remove apple mixture from oven. Pat dough between your hands and add flattened dough pieces to the top of the hot apple mixture until covered. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Place on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 25minutes until dough is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool for about 30 minutes and dig in.
* Next time I make this, I’m only making half the biscuit dough, as I found there was too much topping.