This is a great recipe for any holiday.
At Thanksgiving I needed a quick recipe that would feed a crowd of hungry high schoolers and they all wanted apple pie.
I don’t know about you, but it takes me about 3 hours to make each apple pie start to finish. Maybe I’m a perfectionist. If I was going to feed this many though I would need at least 4 pies and I certainly did not have 12 hours to spare before Thanksgiving.
Luckily for me I can go the the vault of desserts I have stored in my head to find a solution. Pandowdy. Never heard of it? Well you are not alone. Pandowdy is one of those desserts like an Apple Brown Betty that is slowly disappearing from our vernacular. It is a dessert made from Yankee ingenuity. Like a Cobbler or Crisp it’s baked fruit in a pan and covered with pie crust. “Dowdying” refers to breaking up the crust and pushing it down into the fruit juices then returning the dish to the oven to crisp the moist crust.
This was basically apple pie with only crust on top. I used my apple pie filling recipe and added some maple syrup for a little more depth of flavor. I shortened my prep time by also using store bought puff pastry as my crust.
End result my students gobbled it up and I made one for Thanksgiving dinner at home and my family loved it. Alexander loved it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top.
Avec Amour, Victoria & Alexander
Maple Apple Pandowdy
9″ x 13″ Baking Dish 8 – 10 Servings
12 Large Golden Delicious Apples, (Rome, Empire, Gala, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith will do well too. I don’t recommend Mackintosh) peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2-inch thick (4# 12 oz)
1 Cup Sugar (7 oz)
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed tightly (3 oz)
1 Tablespoon + ¾ teaspoon Lemon Zest
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
5 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour (1 ½ oz)
1 Stick of Butter (4 oz)
⅓ Cup Maple Syrup
⅓ Cup Water
1 Sheet Puff Pastry
1 1/2 tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling on top
1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set a rack to the middle position. Peel the apples and cut into ½” thick wedges.
2. Using a microplane zester or box grater, zest the lemon.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and all purpose flour, sprinkle over the apples in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.
4. In a small pot over medium heat melt the butter, add the maple syrup and water, stir together until warm, pour over the apples.
5. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into squares roughly 2 inches across.
Put apples into a baking dish, arrange the squares of puff pastry over the apples, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake the pandowdy until juices are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and use a metal spoon to gently press the pastry down into the juices so it’s mostly (about 80% submerged)
Return the pan to the oven bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is nicely glazed and the sauce has thickened. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream and/or Whipped Cream.
This can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 4 weeks.