Granny Smith apples were on special at our local fruit and vegetable store this week. And with friends coming around for Friday dinner, they seemed like a perfect pudding inspiration. When I asked the family what they thought I should make the replies were varied: I was thinking crumble, The Chef said french apple tart, Little Miss 4 wanted "Apple Pan Dowdy, from scratch" - care of one of her current favourite story books. So since it was her Plunket buddies and their folks who were coming, we gave her the final say.
With the story book having been written in America, I had to Google what Apple Pan Dowdy actually was! As it turns out, its a rustic Apple Pie. The dowdy part comes in when the pastry on the top is broken or sliced up - hence the dowdy appearance.
With quite a variety of recipes available on-line, this is my interpretation.
Apple Pan Dowdy (from scratch!)
Pre-heat the oven to 180deg. C. Make the pastry first and refrigerate while preparing the apples.
5 granny smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced up (put them in water with a squeeze of lemon while you work so they don't brown.)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Drain the prepared apple slices and combine with the sugar and spices. Put into a medium sized baking dish.
For the pastry:
4 oz butter
4oz caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons of raw sugar crystals for the top of the pie
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat again until well combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold to combine. Wrap in kitchen wrap and refrigerate while preparing the apples.
Once the apples are prepared, take the pastry out and place torn and flattened pieces on top of the apples. Leave gaps in between the pastry so the apples can be seen. You will have some pastry over - it can be frozen for another occasion. Sprinkle the raw sugar crystals over the pastry.
Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and well cooked. Don't be frightened to let the pastry get brown!
I served out Pan Dowdy with custard. Happy baking!