An Old Classic
There are so many ways to use pie crusts in desserts. You have your classic pies that range from custard, fruit and cream, which are just a few that come to mind when I think of pie.
Crostata’s are another pie-like dessert that I have come to love over the years, it’s Italian for pie and typically have no top crust. Then there is the pandowdy……
You are probably wondering what in the world is this Pan-dowd thing? Pandowdy’s are similar to both fruit pies and crostata’s but perhaps in a way, they share more in common with cobblers. Mmmmm, I have a soft spot for cobblers, growing up down south we ate these quite often and I still love them today (blueberry-peach is by far my favorite)! That baked fruit topped with a biscuit or pastry- like topping is oh so good.
The pandowdy is similar as it’s baked fruit “under” a pie or pastry topping. Hope I didn’t lose you there…
You may be wondering where this dessert got its unique name. “Dowdy” was referred to breaking up the pieces of pastry. Small pieces of cut-out pastry are placed on the top of the filling to give it a patchwork look before it is baked. Once removed from the oven, you see that bubbling delicious fruit filling around the pieces of buttery pastry. It’s truly a great rustic dessert and was given its popularity back in the 1800’s.
This baked dessert is such a simple dish to put together using your favorite fruit combinations mixed together with sugar, flour, and a touch of lemon zest to brighten up the fruit flavors. Here I used blackberries and blueberries. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. I used frozen but special note to let the fruit come to room temperature before placing the filling mixture into the individual baking dishes.
Some great flavor combinations:
- Peach/ Cherry
For the crust I used my favorite pie crust which gives it a great from-scratch taste. I love that you can really make this your own dessert by what you do with the cut-out pastry crust to place on the top of the pandowdy. Refrigerator crusts work just as well with this.
Putting your unique spin
For this dessert, instead of serving it in one dish, I decided to take the concept and make individual desserts by placing the filling in ramekin cups and use different mini shapes and designs for the pie crust. Depending on the season, you could use cookie cutters to cut out shapes that correspond to the season, mixing and matching different designs.
For fall and winter: leaves, acorns, pumpkins, and snowflakes. Spring could include flowers, fruit shapes, or just basic circles and squares works just as well to give it that patchwork look. Custom make it to your very own.
These desserts bake up super-fast and you will have to practice great discipline as you wait for them to cool and dive into. I might add, they are awesome with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.