Sunday, July 31

apple & blackberry pandowdy

Incase I haven't already toted on enough about how I prefer the milder seasons to an all imposing Brisbane Summer, let me bust into a monologue about desserts. Ice cream, sorbet and gelato are all wonderful. There are few things I love more than spontaneously deciding to go out for gelato at 8pm on a weeknight. But, these few things include Wintery desserts such as custards, crumbles, puddings, pies, pandowdies... Pandowdies?! According to my bible - AGT - a pandowdy is a pie whose lid is smashed (dowdied!) during the cooking process. The result is delicious jumble of pastry, berries and sweet juices making a mess all up in your oven.

This recipe uses a sour cream pastry which is so easy to make, and is wonderfully rich against apples and blackberries. Or, any other fruit, I imagine. A sprinkling of demerera (or raw, if you're desperate) sugar adds a little sweetness and crunchiness that is always welcome in my house.

Recipe from AGT August 2011

For pastry:
250 gms plain flour
40 gms pure icing sugar
rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
140 gms cold butter, cubed
120 gms sour cream (no low fat, please!)

For filling:
4 each granny smith and pink lady apples, cut into eighths
300 gms caster sugar
150 gms frozen blackberries
40 gms plain flour
juice of 2 mandarins
rind of 1 1/2 lemons, finely grated

demerera sugar, for sprinkling

For your pastry, process the flour, sugar, vanilla seeds, rind and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse for about 30 seconds, until only small lumps remain. Add the sour cream, and pulse until mixture beings to come together. Turn the mixture out onto your bench top, and bring together with the heel of your hand. Form into a disc, wrap in plaaaastic, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 200C. Combine all of your filling ingredients in a large bowl before transferring to a generous pie dish.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 4mm thick. Brush the edges of the pie dish with water before placing pastry over the filling and pressing the rim of the dish to seal. Trim the edges with a sharp knife, and pierce a hole in the centre of your pastry. Lightly brush your pie with water and generously scatter the demerera. Bake for about 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Remove from the oven, and break pastry into pieces with a fork, pressing down into the filling. Bake until the filling bubbles over the pastry, and the pastry is dark and golden brown - about 25 minutes.

I usually have an inability to love the results of my baking unless it is aesthetically perfect, something that can be very exhausting at times. But I love the appearance of this dowdied pie, and can see myself squashing and re-baking plenty more pies in the future... It's strangely very satisfying. I can also see bakers with pie failures now feeling confident knowing their pies aren't deformed misfits, but are in fact a new and delicious addition to their dessert repertoire!

Recommended baking soundtrack: Grass Widow - Milo Minute.

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