Say bye-bye to pie (for now) and howdy to Apple Pandowdy.
Why This Recipe Works
One of many old-school New England desserts with funny names (slumps, grunts, etc.), pandowdy is similar to skillet apple pie, except that during baking, the crust is pressed or slashed so the juices from the filling flood over the top and caramelize in the oven. Yes, you purposefully mess up the top, leaving a dowdy-looking result. To start, we precooked sweet, buttery Golden Delicious apples with sugar and cinnamon and then added a slurry of cornstarch, cider, and lemon juice to thicken the filling. For the topping, we used homemade all-butter dough with sour cream added (for a slight tang). To avoid smothered, mushy apples, we cut the dough into squares and casually arranged them to overlap on top. The partial coverage promotes ventilation, allowing the apples to keep their shape and not overcook. Pressing down on the crust halfway through baking allowed time for the crust to set up (not sog out in the liquid) and for the juices spilling over the top time to caramelize, yielding layers of texture—sticky, crisp and tender.