There are two things happening on my Instagram right now. Everyone is either apple picking or giving birth to very precious human babes. There’s truly no in between – it’s either your cutie masked face with your apple haul or it’s your cutie newborn all precious and perfect. If your life is at all represented by my current feed then wow, congratulations on your apple bounty and/or congratulations on your baby. Either way, you really did it!
Now… I’m mostly here to help with the apples. The babies – you’ve got this, just print this recipe out and send it to the stellar friend in charge of your meal train.
This is just about the easiest way to get from apple orchard to apple pie and it’s made even more charming in a cast iron skillet with pie crust coins and several handfuls of grated cheddar cheese.
This recipe is from Kate McDermontt’s new pie book Pie Camp.
Bet – if a book is on pie, I’m going to need to crack it open on my kitchen counter and stain it with butter while baking. Kate’s a known pie wizard and the recipes in her new book are expansive, resourceful, and… just fun! My next bake will absolutely be Montgomery Pie because it seems like a strange combination of Chess Pie and… cake(?) that I’m curious to try for myself. If you’re looking for a new pie book or a gift for your best baker friend, this book is great. I have more bookmarked to-bake tabs that I can count and that’s always a good sign.
Ok I know what you’re thinking.
What is a Pandowdy?
A pandowdy is a deep dish apple pie topped with a buttery crust (sometimes in pieces, sometimes as a single rolled-out pie crust cover). Kate notes that a pandowdy can be inverted like a Tarte Tatin but I don’t have that much gumption, especially considering the deep dish nature of this pie.
This pie is delicious (and stress-free) scooped from the pan into bowls preferably with a cream, whipped or frozen.
Here’s what you’ll want to have to make this sweet little pandowdy:
• 6 of 7 of your picked apples (even if you just picked them from the grocery store). I didn’t go apple picking so I chose fuji, honey crisp, and granny smith from the grocery.
• brown sugar, spices, flour, and lemon juice for the filling. Oh a little butter, too!
• flour, a bit of sugar and salt, cold butter and buttermilk for the crust.
• cheddar cheese for the crust though if you’re raising your eyebrows you’re welcome to skip the cheese.
Let’s make the pie crust like we do.
Whisk together flour, salt and sugar.
Add the cold butter and use your fingers or a pastry blender to work the cold butter into the dry ingredients.
You’ll end up with pieces of butter, some the size of peas, some the size of oat flakes.
Add the grated cheddar after the butter is incorporated.
The cheddar gives this crust a slight savory bend and a chewiness that’s absolutely delicious. Cheddar makes for the most alluring sweet and savory quality to this pandowdy and I 10/10 recommend.
Create a well in the center of the mixture and add the buttermilk. Bring the wet and dry into a shaggy mixture and knead gently into a disk that is wrapped and refrigerated for at least an house.
If you need more of a pie crust step-by-step you’ll find it here.
While the pie crust chills, make the filling.
Chop apples. (I liked apple chunks better than apple slices for this deep dish pandowdy though you can choose whatever apple shape pleases you.)
Add flour, sugar, all of the spices, and a pinch of salt. Lemon juice will brighten the flavor and help the apples release some of their juices to create a pleasing pie situation.
I’m baking this beauty in a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet though feel free to use any 9 or 10-inch pan that you like to put in the oven.
Add all of the fruit and juices along with a few pats of butter.
Roll the crust on a lightly floured surface. It will be studded with butter bits and cheddar. Roll the crust to just under 1/4-inch thickness and use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to make small circles.
If you don’t have a small round cutter, use any cookie cutter you’d like. You can also use a pizza cutter or large knife to cut square or diamond shapes out of the rolled dough.
Layer atop the fruit in the skillet, brush with egg was and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you have it on hand.
Bake until the inside of the skillet is tender and bubbling up around the edges and the top crust is golden brown and lightly sizzling.
I have the most success baking this dish in the upper third of the oven, rotating once or twice during baking.
Serve with hot coffee and cold ice cream. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days to be enjoyed for second breakfast snacking.
This recipe was photographed by our dude Jon Melendez.
You might be interested in some alternative baking options for this recipe. Here’s what I know:
• This crust recipe adapts super well with King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Pie Crust. (I’ve always made it without the ClearJel.)
• I’ve also made this recipe with 1/3 cup coconut sugar in place of the 1/2 cup of brown sugar in the filling. You can add coconut sugar to the crust as well!
• To make the apple filling gluten free I subbed 2 tablespoons of corn starch for 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.Print
A deep-dish, one-crust simple apple pie.
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk plus 2 to 3 tablespoons more if your dough is dry
For the Filling:
- Butter for greasing the baking dish
- 6 to 8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Calvados or bourbon (optional)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Coarse sugar, brown sugar, or turbinado sugar for sprinkling before baking
- Soft whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Stir in grated cheddar cheese.
- Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out. If refrigerating the dough overnight, allow the crust to rest on the counter for 5 minutes before rolling.
- While the crust chills, bring together the filling. In a large mixing bowl stir together apple pieces, sugar, salt, spices, vinegar or lemon, Calvados or bourbon (if using), and flour. Mix until everything is evenly distributed. The mixture will look a bit sandy.
- Pour the apples into a lightly buttered baking dish. Top with tablespoon of butter.
- On a lightly floured counter roll out the pie crust to 1/4-inch thickness, so that the pie crust is at least 1-inch wider than the baking dish. Cut crust into 2 to 3 inch strips. Layer strips on the diagonal, overlapping just a bit, and do you best to tuck the pie crust edges into the dish. Refrigerate the pie.
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Just before baking, brush the pie crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes then reduce oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the pie for 30 -35 minutes, until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling up the sides. Remove pie from the oven and allow to cool to almost room temperature before serving.
- Spoon into bowls and serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days.