There are, as you know, some things I love to make simply because of their names. Grunts, buckles, Betties and pandowdies (that must be the plural of pandowdy, no?) always reel me in. All are fruity things, topped with some form of starchy carbohydrate; to simplify, a pandowdy is an upside down pie of sorts – what you might know as a fruit crumble, topped with pastry instead of the usual buttery, sugary rubble.
I’ve always been a fan of the single-crust pie; two can be too much, particularly when the ratio of pastry to fruit flips in favour of pastry. Not that I have anything against pastry, of course – but I do tend to get stingy about my calories, and the bottom crust, especially when it’s a sort of pallid white (which let’s face it, it usually is) is kind of a waste. I often dig out the filling and eat the top crust and edge, leaving the bottom. With a pandowdy, you kind of have the best of both worlds; plus you don’t need to stress about whether or not your pie will cut into clean slices, because it’s not supposed to.
I served this last night with burnt sugar ice cream, which was a hit. I was in a hurry, thinking the friends around my table (these guys, and these guys) might be anxious to leave (they weren’t), and so prematurely scooped the hot pandowdy onto plates and topped it with soft-from-the-machine ice cream, which resulted in a sort of chunky (albeit delicious) soup. In my haste (and the early dark – sigh) I didn’t take a photo, which is as good an excuse as any to make another batch, don’t you think?
This chunk of pandowdy was left over this morning. On a Sunday when you’ve had nearly 4 hours of sleep and have been forced out of bed at 7 to listen to Dora and clean every dish in the house, a wedge of peach-blackberry pandowdy for breakfast makes a fine consolation prize.
Peach & Blackberry Pandowdy
5 large peaches (or more, if you like)
2 cups (ish) fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
pastry for a single crust pie, chilled
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Get out a deep baking dish (mine was about 7″x10″) and slice your peaches into it, not bothering to peel them. Add the blackberries. Stir the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small dish and sprinkle overtop, then toss with your hands until more or less combined.
On a lightly floured countertop, roll the pastry out until roughly an inch bigger around than the edge of the baking dish. Place it overtop, fold the edges under and kind of crimp them, pressing up against the edge of the pan. Don’t worry about being neat about it – this is what they call rustic.
Cut a few slits in the top and if you like, brush with milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let cool for 20 minutes to allow the juices to thicken. Serves 8.
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September 06 2009 08:20 pm | dessert