Play By Play

Two times, now, I’ve made apricot pandowdy.

The first time, several days ago, I followed the recipe exactly, and the apricot filling didn’t have near enough sugar and eating it nearly gave us mouth ulcers. But I felt I was on to a good thing, so yesterday morning I went out to our tree, picked the remaining apricots, and made another pandowdy.

For those of you who don’t know (and I was included in your ranks up until just recently), a pandowdy is similar to a pie, except that it doesn’t have a bottom crust. The fruit sauce is poured directly into the pie plate and covered with a top crust. When it is nearly done baking and the crust is golden brown, you take a knife to the crust, chopping it up and pushing it down into the fruit. Bake it a few minutes longer, and then, ta-da, it’s done.

In many ways, a pandowdy is better than a pie. You don’t have to roll out a bottom crust; consequently, there’s no bottom crust to get soggy, and there’s no fancy crimping. What you do have is a big dish of hot, sweetened fruit topped with shards of crispy, sugary crust.

Apricot Pandowdy
Adapted from the apricot pandowdy recipe I found on

For the fruit filling:

5 cups apricots, pitted and cut in quarters
3/4 cup sugar (less if the apricots are quite ripe and mushy, more if they are still tart)
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 8″ pie crust (see recipe below)
1-2 tablespoons cream, half-and-half, or milk
1-2 tablespoons sugar

As you can see from this picture, I used more than 5 cups of apricots which wasn’t smart—it bubbled over way too much.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Dump in the apricot chunks. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch and then add to the apricots.

Stir together and cook over medium heat until bubbly and syrupy.

Pour the fruit into a 10-inch pie pan.

For the crust:

On my recipe card, I have three different recipes for three different sizes of pies. I’m going to include them all here, though for this pandowdy recipe you’ll only use the recipe for the 8-inch crust.

8-inch crust:

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons cold water

Double 8-inch crust, or a 9-inch crust:

1 ½ cups, plus 3 tablespoons, flour
a pinch of salt
½ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons cold water

Double 9-inch crust:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 pinches of salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cold water

Combine the salt and flour. Add the oil and water and stir gently.

Form the dough into a ball and place between two sheets of wax paper.

Roll the dough into a circle, checking to see if it is the right size by setting the pie plate on top—make sure you can see the dough sticking out on all sides. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper, trim off any excess pie dough (I cut slits in the dough to let the steam escape, but I don’t think it was necessary since in a pandowdy there are no sealed edges and anyways, I chopped it all up in the end)…

…slip your hand under the bottom piece of wax paper, and carefully flip the whole thing over (yes, I’m taking the picture with my left hand here, so yes, the picture is lopsided—want to make something of it?)…

…so that it lands on top of the pie filling. The wax paper is now on top—gently peel it off of the pie dough.

Brush the crust with the cream and sprinkle generously with the sugar. (I have no photo because I forgot to do this part until the pandowdy was already baking, and then I didn’t want to confuse you with a picture of me brushing cream and sprinkling sugar on an already bubbling pandowdy.)

Bake the pandowdy at 375 degrees until bubbling and brown on top (I have no idea how long—maybe 20 minutes?), with a pan on the bottom rack to catch the drips.

Now’s the fun part. When it looks like it’s done, slash up the crust with a knife. Hi-ya!

Bake for three or so more minutes.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Mmm.


  • Jennifer Jo

    First of all, it’s PANdowdy, my dear. Second, I said it NEARLY gave us ulcers. Third, I think sugar will solve just about any problem. Forth, make one and see what you think.

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