Apple Pandowdy

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PIAZZA / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

This recipe dates back to colonial times. It’s another classic of baked apples with a biscuit topping. Pick a great baking apple like a Granny Smith or Gravenstein. Any apple that is more firm and slightly tart works best. Pandowdy is really great the second day.

Serves 8

Apple filling:
6 medium to large apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
4 ounces unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Topping:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 ounces unsalted cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°. Put apple slices, butter, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until apples are soft but retain their shape. Add cream to pan and continue to cook apples until the liquid has slightly thickened. Place the apple mixture in a 1½-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top.

To make the topping, combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and mix for 20 seconds. Add butter and pulse mixture until butter is pea-size. Add ¾-cup cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Place on a lightly floured board and roll the dough to ¼- inch thick. Drape dough over apple mixture and cut 3–4 vents for steam to escape. Alternatively, you can cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place them on top of the apple mixture. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons heavy cream and sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top. Bake the pandowdy for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling through.

Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!