My grandfather was a farmer before he retired. Of course, that means he has a large garden now and quite the green thumb. Which also means I get to enjoy the spoils, such as fresh rhubarb in the summer and an abundance of apples right now. As we have more than we can eat, I decided an apple dessert for friends was the perfect solution to my little ‘problem.’
So, the other day I browsed the Gourmet website looking for a good apple recipe that wasn’t apple crisp or apple pie. I found the perfect in-between recipe for Old Fashioned Apple Pandowdy. To be honest, I had to google Pandowdy. Once I realized it was a mix between a flaky biscuit and pie crust, I was sold. And upon tasting, I was not disappointed. This will be a recipe I hold on to for many Fall seasons. The mixture of the apples and molasses makes for a more complex, intriguing dessert than some of the simple apple crisps that are often overladen with sugar.
So, let this be a tribute to the now defunct Gourmet magazine. One of the best parts of visiting one of my favorite photographer’s studio has been sitting in the studio kitchen, looking through all the recent Gourmet magazines. Their beautiful, simple cover photography and inviting recipes always drew me in.
- Recipe from Gourmet
Makes 9″x9″ (or almost 9″x13″) pan’s worth
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 Gala or Granny Smith apples (2 to 2-1/2 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch wedges (I used 6 smaller apples. 3 Gala and 3 Granny Smith)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons pure cane sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
make the filling
Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together molasses, water, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Add apples and stir to coat. Then stir in flour and sugar. Transfer apple mixture to a 9-inch square baking pan and dot with butter (9×13 works as well, pandowdy just comes out thinner). Bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes.
make the biscuit top
To make the biscuit topping while the filling bakes, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1 tsp sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and stir with a fork just until a dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times to bring dough together. Pat or roll dough into an 8-inch square. Optional, sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp sugar.
finish the pandowdy
Cover hot fruit with dough and bake, uncovered, until biscuit is just golden, about 20 minutes. Use a spoon to break up biscuit top and mix slightly with filling, drizzling some of apples and liquid over biscuit. Continue to bake until apples are tender and biscuit begins to turn golden brown in multiple spots, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool slightly and serve.