Apple pandowdy recipe


More rustic than an apple pie, this comforting dessert features just one pastry crust placed on top of a spiced apple filling. During baking, the crust is pressed into the filling so the juices flood over the top and caramelize in the oven. Although pandowdies are often baked in a skillet, we found that our Dutch oven had two advantages: We could use it as a mixing bowl for our apples, cutting down on dishes, and the “dowdying” process was easier and neater, since the Dutch oven’s high sides kept the juices in the pot. We started the filling on the stovetop to encourage even cooking, then topped the apples with squares of dough to allow steam to escape during baking and prevent the apples from overcooking. Do not use store-bought pie dough in this recipe; it yields gummy results.

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes


  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • ⅔ cup (3⅓ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • ½ cup packed (3½ ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Vanilla ice cream
How to Make It
    For the Dough
  1. Combine ice water and sour cream in bowl. Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until size of large peas, 6 to 8 pulses. Add sour cream mixture and pulse until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, 3 to 6 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Form dough into 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Wrapped dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling.)
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Let chilled dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll dough into 10-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Using pizza cutter, cut dough into four 2½-inch-wide strips, then make four 2½-inch-wide perpendicular cuts to form squares. (Pieces around edges of dough will be smaller.) Transfer dough pieces to parchment paper–lined baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  4. For the Filling
  5. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and toss to coat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples become slightly pliable and release their juice, about 10 minutes.
  6. Whisk cider, cornstarch, and lemon juice in bowl until no lumps remain, then stir mixture into apples. Bring to simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Off heat, press apples into even layer.
  7. For the Topping
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Working quickly, shingle dough pieces over filling until mostly covered, overlapping as needed. Brush dough pieces with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered, until crust is slightly puffed and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Remove pot from oven. Using back of large spoon, press down in center of crust until juices come up over top of crust. Repeat 4 more times around pot. Make sure all apples are submerged and return pot to oven. Bake, uncovered, until crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
  10. Remove pot from oven and transfer to wire rack. Let pandowdy cool for 20 minutes. Serve with ice cream, drizzling extra sauce over top.

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