Apple Pandowdy

Saturday 2 February 2013

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I wanted to make a special dessert for Todd the other night. He is awfully fond of apple desserts.  I think apple desserts are one of his favourite types of desserts when it comes right down to it.   He loves to wax on about his mother's apple pies . . . but in truth . . . I have never been able to make an apple pie to come up to his mother's exacting standards.

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I think that is because I make North American Apple Pies . . . and they are somewhat different.   He says his mother's apple pies were solid and highly flavoured with cloves.  I like my own mother's apple pies . . . her apples were soft and juicy and flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg.

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He does like all the other apple desserts I make though, and especially this one, which is an old favourite of mine.   I have been making this for years and years!  In fact the other day when I was making this I sent my oldest son a text to tell him I was making it . . . because making it made me think of him and how much he always loved it.

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Do you find that certain foods make you think of certain people?   I do.   I find that it always makes great dishes taste even more special when you can associate them with a special person and a special memory.

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That's the way it is for me and this recipe.    I often had to double or triple it when my kids were growing up as it was a real favourite in our home.  Shoefly Pie and Apple Pandowdy, makes your eyes light up and your lips say howdy!  How can you not love a dessert that has a whole song dedicated to it????

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I have to say . . . it's rather impossible not to love THIS version . . . with it's delicious sauce . . . tender apples and that crispy biscuit/scone topping.    You break it up a bit before the dessert is finished and push it down into the juices and fruit, which for some odd reason makes it even scrummier!

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It may not be the most beautiful dessert in the world, but I have found that the best and tastiest things in life often aren't the prettiest.  You'll want to put this on a pan to bake . . . just in case it spills over.   Enjoy!

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*Apple Pandowdy*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

Shoe fly pie and apple pan dowdy, makes your eyes light up and your lips say howdy!  One of my favourite desserts.  A cross between a pudding and a deep dish apple pie.   Serve warm with cream if you wish.

150g of soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup, packed)
25g of plain flour (1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
250ml of water (1 cup)
2 tsp cider vinegar
60ml of molasses (can use a combination of dark and light treacle) (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 pounds cooking apples, peeled and sliced into eighths (4 to 5 cups)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 TBS butter

For the topping:
100g of sifted plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 TBS cold butter
180ml of milk (3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.   Butter a 12 by 8 by 2 inch glass baking dish.  Set aside.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan.   Whisk in the water, vinegar and molasses.  Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Arrange the sliced apples in the prepared baking dish.  Pour the sauce over top to cover.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg and dot with the butter.

To make the topping sift the flour into the bowl along with the baking powder and the salt.   Drop in the cold butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two round bladed knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal, the size of peas.   Add the milk and stir until all parts are dampened.   The mixture should remain somewhat lumpy.

Drop the batter by small spoonfuls onto the top of the apples.  It will not cover them completely, but that is how it should be.   Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Break through the biscuit topping with a fork and work it down into the apples.  Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve warm, spooned out into bowls with or without pouring cream if desired.


  1. I appreciate the way you list not only metric measurements, but also the ones I'm accustomed to here in the USA (cups, etc.). It must be an inconvenience for you to have to do that. I did notice while reading this recipe that the molasses is 125ml. Do you know how that translates to cups? Thank you. Oh, this sounds so good! I hope to make it soon.

  2. This dish looks absolutely delicious! It's one I must try! I agree with your comment "I find that it always makes great dishes taste even more special when you can associate them with a special person and a special memory." We have a cardamom biscuit recipe that has been in our family for generations, and we remember "grandma" with ours. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Barbee, that was a misprint, which I have fixed. It should say 60ml or 1/4 cup!

  4. It looks beautiful to me! I think I'd like just a bit of vanilla ice cream with it and I'd be a very happy woman.

  5. Oh, this looks like HEAVEN!! Stephen doesn't like baked apple anything, but I LOVE them. So sad, I can only get away with apple desserts if we have guests to help me eat them!! This is going in my list of MUST tries!! I'm with you, soft apples and lots of spices, that's the way to go! Mouthwatering... No fair :)
    Love, Me


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