14-21: Pear Pandowdy

Here’s a very basic dessert recipe: 14-21: Pear Pandowdy. Pandowdies are typically made with apples, but Simply Delicious offers a pear variation which is also popular. Both are in season right now, so either one would work for this recipe if you’re looking for something to do with all of that fall produce.

Here’s more info on pandowdies, courtesy of New England.com:

An old-fashioned favorite, the pandowdy is, by definition, a cooked fruit dessert sweetened with maple syrup or molasses and topped with a pie pastry. The name refers to the act of “dowdying” the crust — that is, breaking it up with a knife and pressing it into the bubbling juices — midway through baking. While it’s not the prettiest of pastries, what it lacks in streamlined good looks it more than makes up for in rich flavor. 

Yankee Magazine, August 2020

Let’s see how close Simply Delicious gets to their definition. They sell this thing much better than I do.

Well, I can tell you that Simply Delicious has failed the Yankee Magazine test–there’s no maple syrup or molasses to be found in this recipe. I think they’re relying on the brown sugar and lemon juice combining with the fruit juices instead–but does this mean that this isn’t REAL pandowdy?

Ingredients. I’m breaking the rules slightly further–I’m making these into individual pandowdies (cooked in ramekins) rather than one big dish.

Peeling the pears.

Combining the filling ingredients (minus the pears).

Turning the peeled pears into pear slices.

Cooking the pears to soften them up.

Mixing up the topping ingredients.

Cutting in the butter–I’m using the mini-food processor since I’m too lazy to drag out the big one for such a small amount of dough.

Spiced, softened pears placed into each ramekin. Ramekins are on a silicone mat-lined quarter sheet pan to keep them from moving around too much and to get them in and out of the oven easier. It also catches any accidental spillage.

I needed to make smaller tops for each ramekin, so I used a water glass to cut circles out from the dough.

Poked a few holes in each one to allow for venting/expansion.

After baking. I made these close to Halloween (last year–yes, I’m STILL working through my backlog), so you can see one of my DIY decorations next to them.

Final picture. They were okay, but not great. I actually think they would have been better if they’d used maple syrup or molasses–I guess Yankee Magazine was right.

Grade: B-