old fashioned ginger apple pandowdy


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 bothย 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 fromย 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.

31 comments to “old fashioned ginger apple pandowdy”

  1. 1
    heather   December 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    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.



  2. 2
    Lydia   December 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    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.

  3. 3
    kickpleat   December 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    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!

  4. 4
    Rachel   December 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    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.

  5. 5
    Joanne   December 3, 2010 at 3:19 am

    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. ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. 6
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)   December 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

    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).

  7. 7
    Natasha   December 3, 2010 at 5:49 am

    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!

  8. 8
    Eva   December 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

    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!

  9. 9
    Sues   December 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I’ve always wanted to make a pandowdy and I LOVE that ginger is involved in this ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 10
    redmenace   December 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    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

  11. 11
    Bijoux   December 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚ even fancy ways of referring to whipped cream…”a floppy dollop of boozy whipped cream” LOVE it!! This dessert sounds delicious and so comforting.

  12. 12
    bonniebonnielass   December 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    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.

  13. 13
    Suzy   December 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

    What a funny name. It looks a bit like a cobbler. Which I also think is a funny name!

  14. 14
    kel   December 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Too much biscuit? I will take my chances with too much!

    Looking forward to making this next weekend!

  15. 15
    Alicia   December 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    This sounds like an absolute dream– perfect to curl up to on a chilly night!

  16. 16
    Maddie   December 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I love your twist, with the gingerโ€”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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 17
    retro sweets   December 6, 2010 at 4:42 am

    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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 18
    lo   December 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Can you have too much biscuit? Really? ๐Ÿ™‚
    This sounds like an awesome flavor combo for a pandowdy. Autumn apples & the zing of ginger. So good.

  19. 19
    Jess   December 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    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.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   December 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Definitely, Alicia. Enjoy.

    Thanks Maddie. I too have a strong fondness for the humble-looking desserts (and most foods actually).

    Thanks retro.

    Lo, well, apparently not for some!

    Jess, love that you used it as a verb. I will too! Love it.

  21. 21
    Jack   December 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    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!

  22. 22
    kickpleat   December 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Jack, I think my dough was about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Hope that helps!

  23. 23
    Jack   December 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks! Trying it soon.

  24. 24
    kickpleat   December 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks Jack!

  25. 25
    Elen   January 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    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.

Leave a comment