The grandkids and a friend, Delaney, came over this week to help me pick apples. My tree was loaded this year, and It took all of us with the ladder to get about 50 lbs of apples! (and a few of Cooper’s favorites – carrots!) The apples in the top of the tree (which I failed to prune last year) will fall eventually and then the deer will be happy once more!
It was hard for me to keep them from eating them as fast as they picked them…especially the carrots, but after a good hose washing, picking out the worms
(in the case of the all organic apples) and biting around the bird pecks and the deer bites…everyone got a taste of goodness!
Now the chore of peeling, coring, slicing and packaging these beauties for the freezer, and some fresh apply treats….apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apple fritters, etc.
I know! APPLE PANDOWDY! The kids had never heard that term, and I was curious too, so I looked it up!
When I was growing up, my mom’s favorite TV show was the Dinah Shore Show…many of you weren’t born yet, so you won’t remember, but she made one song famous that we sang around the house “Shoe Fly Pie and Apple Pandowdy”. I grew up wondering what those enticing sounding foods were made of besides the obvious – apples…but probably not flies…eouwwwww! Well now that I’m writing food blog and humming the song once again…I did a bit of research!
Shoe Fly Pie has it’s roots in the South and can be anything from caramel based pie to a kind of pie that has a soft gooey center like Pecan Pie…just without the pecans! That sort of makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.
But Apple Pandowdy has a longer history. The word “pandowdy” is something of a mystery and its origins are contested among dictionaries and historians. Some think that pandowdy is an eighteenth century Americanization of the French word pandoulde which means “custard or pudding”. Other believe that it comes from an English dialectic found in the original colonies of pan + dowl – which means to mix dough in a hurry (Perhaps a variant of dough). A third meaning derives from our current word dowdy, which means rather plain or unlovely. My granny used to say that a pandowdy was basically a one crust apple pie with bits of left over pie crust “dowdied” on top….by that she meant that she covered her apples with strips of left over crust from all the other pies she was baking that morning which she pushed down into the cinnamon juice of the apples to glaze them before baking. This often made a softer, biscuit-like crust. But however this humble dish got its name, it is very delicious! Here’s the one we made:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
6 or 7 pie apples (Granny Smith, Jonathan, MacIntosh, Roma, etc.) peeled and cut into slices to make 6 cups of fruit.*
1/3-1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar – depending on the tartness of your apples
(I like to substitute 1/4 c Maple Syrup – here’s how:) http://www.ehow.com/how_7384139_substitute-maple-syrup-brown-sugar.html
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg (fresh ground if you have the nuts on hand)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons coarse sugar
*All kinds of optional fruit can be added like: raisins, rhubarb, raspberries, cranberries, etc. to be included in the 6 cups.
Make crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly, but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add 1 tablespoon more ice water). Do not overmix. Form dough into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm.
Mix sugar, lemon, flour, salt and spices together and mix liberally with fruit. Place the fruit mixture in the bottom of a deep dish. Allow apple mixture to macerate for 15 minutes. Dot with butter over the surface of the apples.
Roll out dough and cut into uneven strips. Place dough strips at various angles across the top of the pie leaving a few holes for filling to bubble through and brush with cream. (This is the dowdying part). Sprinkle coarse sugar over crust and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until the top of the crust is browned and apples are bubbly.
Serve with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Hope you enjoy this down-home treat!