Apple Pandowdy is an old-fashioned apple dessert sweetened with maple syrup and topped with a pie pastry. The dough is pressed into the bubbling juices (dowdying) part-way through baking.
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons solid shortening, like Crisco
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons ice cold water
For the apple filling:
- 3 1/2 pounds fresh apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 6 or 7 apples depending on size)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (if desired)
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened apple cider
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream for brushing on the crust pieces
To prepare the crust:
Combine the flour, Crisco, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 seconds. Do not over process. You want the butter to still be in small chunks. Add the ice cold water and pulse for 5 more times. Pinch a piece of the dough together to see if it holds a shape. If the pastry holds together, gather the dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll the dough out into a 9x12 inch rectangle, a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 3 inch squares or use a cookie cutter as desired. Place the cut pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and put back in the refrigerator until needed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the apples:
Lightly grease a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet or casserole dish. Add the apples (tossed in the lemon juice if not using an iron skillet) and distribute evenly. In a small dish combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Sprinkle over the apples. In a 2 cup measure, combine the apple cider and maple syrup. Pour over the apples.
Place the prepared crust over the apple mixture. Brush the pieces gently with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the juices are bubbling. Remove the dessert from the oven and gently press the dough into the juices using a spatula. You don't have to dowdy the entire crust but as much as you can is fine.
Return to the oven and bake another 15 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and glazed and the juices thickened.
Cool slightly and serve with ice cream if desired.
- I used a combination of Granny Smith and Empire apples
- Unsweetened apple juice can be substituted for the cider
- A refrigerated pre-made pie dough will work just fine too