Monday, January 11, 2010

Apple Pandowdy

A good old American dessert -- that's what I made today. I'll add that we were given a 4 DVD set of "America's Test Kitchen" episodes, and I've been cooking away ever since! This recipe is from that PBS show.

First, make your pastry crust. You only need a top crust. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup flour, 1 T sugar, 1/4 tsp salt. Add 2 T shortening (I used lard) and 6 T chilled butter. Pulse until loose, with little chunks of butter. Turn into a bowl. Add ice water, 2 T at a time, and press water gently into mixture until blended. You should use b/t 4-5 T of water.

I made a double recipe. This is a nice pastry dough. Of course, there are multitudes of great pastry recipes, so use the one you love, but I wanted to follow their plan. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the frig.
Next, mix up your "sauce." Since this dessert has no bottom crust to worry over, and it cooks in a skillet, you can have a yummy, moist filling. Mix in a bowl: 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 2 T lemon juice, 2 tsp corn starch. These ingredients are important. You should not substitute apple juice, or Log Cabin syrup, or any such nonsense. If you don't have these ingredients, for goodness sake get them at the store next time you go, and plan ahead to make this in a few days. It's worth the wait to use the right ingredients. Whisk this sauce to ensure that the corn starch dissolves well.

Next: apples. Use a mix of tart and sweet apples. I used Granny Smith and Jonagold. I did peel them (although I usually don't bother), because: 1) the skins were waxy, and I didn't want that wax in my recipe, 2) the ATK peeled them and I wanted to follow their recipe, and 3) I wanted to see what scary spots were lurking under those skins.

Use 2 lbs. of apples. That's probably about 4 large apples. Chop into good sized chunks.
Put 2 T butter into a good, heavy, oven-proof skillet (about 11" wide). On med. high heat, cook apples lightly, until they begin to brown and soften. Mine didn't really "brown," but began to soften. I used cast iron (b/c I love it), but ATK used a heavy stainless steel. Turn off heat. Pour in "sauce" mixture. It will quickly thicken in the warm pan. Mix it in with the apples.

I rolled out my pastry on the counter, in some flour. It should be sturdy, not too thin. Place it over the apples. Beat an egg white in a small bowl and brush it over the crust. Then sprinkle generously with white sugar. This gives the crust a delectable texture and taste -- it's worth the bother!! Also, cut the pastry, as shown. This allows the sauce to bubble and insinuate itself onto the edges of the crust.
Bake in a HOT oven -- the ATK said 500 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I didn't do it quite that high, but a hot oven is necessary to finish cooking the apples, and to give the crust a nice crunch -- a "toothy resistance."
Adam dashed out for ice cream. We all ate a bowl full. The sauce is tangy and blends perfectly with the ice cream. The crust is the BEST - yummers! And the apple flavor is strong b/c of the cider. All in all, a keeper of a recipe, and one that lives up to its claims.

3 comments:

  1. I'd heard of this dish but never eaten it or seen a recipe. Mmm-mm does it sound good, and your pictures make it look awfully yummy!

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  2. That looks absolutely scrumptious!!! Maybe that means I should try it!

    Karen S./WI

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  3. OH MY MK - that looks wonderful! Ok I need to make - that looks amazing!

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