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.
I had to come check this out immediately. I’m also new on the scene to pandowdies and things of that nature. Delicious blend of fruits and spices. Plus, everything is better with a little candied ginger.
YUM. You had me at the name. I do not have a dish like this but this is the second time recently I’ve seen something made in a deep round dish, so maybe I need one. Hopefully my small (9×9″) square baking dish will suffice. I’m confused.
Heather, I’m sure you’d love this. It’s so so good and the ginger makes it even greater!
Lydia, the original recipe calls for a 9×9 pan but I didn’t think that would be deep enough. I think for a pan that size, make only half the biscuit dough. It’s not that deep and you want to have lots of apple goodness. You can also use a 9×13″ pan, add more apples and keep all of the biscuit dough. Hope that helps!
A pandowdy, now that’s a dessert I’ve never had. I’m traveling through North Carolina right now and I think this would fit right in! A ginger addition to molasses and lemon juice sounds so perfect.
Well if there’s a song written about it then you know it must be good! Frankly, i just love saying the word pandowdy. This looks delicious but I would make it just so that I could walk around saying pandowdy all day. 😛
Yum, I LOVE pandowdies. They are easier than pie and taste just as homey. The ginger in this one sounds great! Thanks for a great looking recipe (and pix).
This looks and sounds heavenly. I’ve never heard of a pandowdy, too cute! This recipe is a keeper to make during my winter holidays. Congrats on the new site, it looks great!
YESSS! I was waiting for you to post this recipe…It looks so darn good! Can’t wait to give it a go this weekend! I love the name “Pandowdy” awesome…just awesome!
I’ve always wanted to make a pandowdy and I LOVE that ginger is involved in this 🙂
I’ve never heard of a pandowdy, which is surprising because it looks like something I would LOVE!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration and recipe! xo
I’ve heard this Ella Fitzgerald song before but never knew what a pandowdy was nor that it was edible. I learn all kinds of interesting things on your blog 🙂 even fancy ways of referring to whipped cream…”a floppy dollop of boozy whipped cream” LOVE it!! This dessert sounds delicious and so comforting.
Hello. Yum. I think this will be going on the to-make list not only because it looks delicious, but who wouldn’t want to eat something called pandowdy.
What a funny name. It looks a bit like a cobbler. Which I also think is a funny name!
Too much biscuit? I will take my chances with too much!
Looking forward to making this next weekend!
This sounds like an absolute dream– perfect to curl up to on a chilly night!
I love your twist, with the ginger—sounds surprising but strangely perfect with the baked apples. And I believe that the most delicious desserts are the most humble-looking, so I can’t wait to have a go at my first pandowdy recipe! 🙂
apple and ginger is the newest thing to happen inside my oven. Glad you’ve come up with this wonderful tweak! Apple pandowdy here I come! 🙂
Can you have too much biscuit? Really? 🙂
This sounds like an awesome flavor combo for a pandowdy. Autumn apples & the zing of ginger. So good.
I haven’t pandowdied yet this season. That is going to have to change. Your version, with its ginger and cardamom and yogurt-enriched crust, pushes the pandowdy in some new-to-me directions. I can’t wait to give it a try.
Thanks Rachel, I think it seems perfectly Southern but it’s actually Dutch country based! Interesting.
Indeed, Joanne! I love the name too.
Thanks Rivki. Very homey and the ginger adds a nice kick.
Natasha, the sites been like this since February 🙂 But thanks regardless, I love it!
Ha, Eva! I hope you love it as much as we did.
Sues, I’m sure you’ll love it.
I think you’d love it too, redmenace!
Glad I can educate and entertain, Bijoux 😉
I agree completely, bonnie!
I cannot disagree with you, Suzy. So many funny names when it comes to baking fruit desserts.
Kel, we all have our biscuit-breaking point! My husband was fine with the amount of biscuit 🙂
Definitely, Alicia. Enjoy.
Thanks Maddie. I too have a strong fondness for the humble-looking desserts (and most foods actually).
Lo, well, apparently not for some!
Jess, love that you used it as a verb. I will too! Love it.
Hi~ This looks fantastic, thanks! I want to try it for a dinner soon. Can you tell us roughly how thick your crust was before baking? I don’t make a lot of biscuits so I don’t want to go too much over or under. Thanks!
Hi Jack, I think my dough was about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Hope that helps!
Thanks! Trying it soon.
We wanted this tonight, but were low on apples.
So I made it fall fruits (apples, pears, cranberries, dried cranberries, walnuts, and the candied ginger).
I also substituted about half of the sugar with honey (a little less in quantity). I think I would even reduce the sugar more next time.
Finally, I used the same measuring cup to measure the yogurt and milk in the topping that I had the molasses for the fruit filling, so there was a little added to the buscuits, which I liked.
To cook it, we didn’t want to wait a full hour, so I stuck the apple mixture (covered) in the micro for 10 minutes while I made the dough. Dough done, I added it to the top adn then baked for 25 minutes.
VOILA! It worked like a charm.