My late mother was an accomplished baker. She baked European cakes; Linzertorte was her specialty. She also made Apple Pandowdy but she cheated with storebought frozen puff pastry – you can do that too. A cross between a pie, tarte tatin and a cobbler, this is the best apple dessert I’ve made to date – and I love making apple desserts. The endearing name of this American dish dating back to the early 1900s describes the “dowdying” effect when the crunchy patchwork pastry soaks up juices from the apples below. Cooked in a skillet, it’s easy to make and super delicious. I use Mcintosh apples or Cortlands – both cook down and are both tart and sweet.
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp cold water
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
6 to 8 medium apples (about 2½ lb) peeled, cored and cut in ½-inch wedges
Juice of 1 lemon
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
¾ cup apple juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 large, lightly beaten
For dough, combine sour cream and cold water in a small bowl. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter; pulse until the size of large peas. Add sour cream mixture; pulse until mixture forms into clump of dough. Shape dough into disc with floured hands and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or longer.
Preheat oven to 400F. Let dough rest at room temperature about 10 minutes. Roll it out into 10-inch circle on floured surface. Cut out patchwork pieces about 2 inches in size. Chill in fridge.
For Apple Layer, toss apples with lemon juice. Then toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Melt butter in heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add apple mixture, cover and cook until apples become slightly soft, about 10 minutes.
Whisk apple juice, lemon juice and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth; add to apples. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and slightly thickens.
Working quickly, take skillet off the heat and lay pieces of dough in a patchwork pattern, overlapping where needed.
For Glaze, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Brush dough all over with egg. Sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Bake in oven about 15 minutes. Remove skillet from oven; press down crust with spatula until juices come up over the crust. Return to oven, bake 10 to 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.
Makes about 6 servings.