Apple Pandowdy

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An old-fashioned American favorite, pandowdy is a simple skillet apple pie, made with brown sugar, an easy-cracked crust and a drizzle of cream. The apples gradually release their juices, creating a loose-yet-delicious pan sauce to be served with the dessert. Top with crème frâiche or vanilla ice cream for a wonderful, cool-weather treat.

Serves: 6-8
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 50-60 min
Special tools: 10″ cast iron skillet


6 T butter
4 lb sweet apples such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, cored and wedged into eighths
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t fresh nutmeg, grated
3 T maple syrup
1 1/2 T flour
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 t vanilla
2 T lemon juice
1/2 c apple cider
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed slightly
1 egg, beaten
3 T Turbinado sugar (raw)
1/2 c heavy cream

8 oz crème frâiche or vanilla ice cream for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in skillet and cook over medium heat until frothy and aromatic, approx. 2 min. Toss butter with apple wedges, spices, syrup, flour, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and cider.

Pour into pan, spreading evenly; bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat. Quickly and carefully lay puff pastry over skillet, tucking excess down sides of pan with a butter knife. Brush top with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 min.

Remove from oven and, with a sharp knife, cut pastry into large, rough pieces. Return to oven and reduce temp to 350 degrees. Bake 20-30 min or until apples are soft in center and sauce is bubbling (cover top with foil if crust is browning too quickly).

Remove from oven and drizzle pastry evenly with cream; return to oven for an additional 10 min, until dark golden brown.

Remove from oven and gently press pastry slightly into pan juices. Serve warm with crème frâiche or vanilla ice cream.