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Enjoy This Simple Apple Pandowdy Recipe | Think Apple Cobber!

So if you were invited over for to my home for dinner and I said we were having Apple Pandowdy for dessert, (Pan-dow-dee) what would you say? Well to make it easy for you, I turned this into a multiple choice question!

  1. Oh that sound’s great Judy, I just love anything you bake!
  2. Just smile and say nothing.
  3. Burst out with “What the heck’s an Apple Pandowdy?

Going for # 2?

I don’t blame you. 🙂

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on May 1, 2018. 

Apple Pandowdy is a recipe I’ve been wanting to bake for some time now.  I just love the name, don’t you?

 It’s a classic North American dessert, created in the 19th century, and is basically an apple pie, but doesn’t have a bottom crust. 

what the heck is an apple pandowdy text at top with picture of a serving of apply pandowdy and ice cream in a blue and white saucer with silver spoon

The pastry or ‘dough’ is placed on top of the filling in pieces or dropped by spoonful’s, rather than rolling out a top crust.

Our Easy Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler is another delicious vintage recipe for baking apples!

So what is Apple Pan dowdy?

  Wiki says Apple Pan dowdy (or Apple pandowdy) is a baked apple pastry traditionally associated with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, with a recipe dating back to (according to Wiki) colonial times.

glass bowl with caramel sauce and two small cast iron skillets with sliced apples in them

I expect in colonial times, they were baking over a wood fire, or in a wood-fired oven, and using cast iron pans as well.

When it’s still warm, press the pastry into the apples with a spoon, so that it soaks up those yummy apple juices!

vertical image of 2 cast iron mini skillets with apple filling and caramel sauce in a clear glass bowl in the background

If you want to learn more about Apple Pan dowdy history, this is a great article on Americana apple recipes!

When I was looking for an old fashioned apple pan dowdy recipe that I could bake, I found a couple of variations. 

 Martha Stewart’s version of apple pandowdy, which is more like an apple pie, with squares of piecrust on top, and then there is the Taste of Home version, and that’s the recipe I’ve re-created here that looks more like an apple cobbler.

old fashioned apple pandowdy with whipped cream on a delft blue saucer & antique spoon
Doesn’t this dish of apple pandowdy with whipped cream look amazing! If you look closely, I’ve already had a generous spoonful. 🙂

I like this apple cobbler version of apple pandowdy for a variety of reasons:

  • It’s Perfect for an easy family dinner – takes less time than making pie crust
  • I love baking desserts in cast iron skillets and I really wanted to use these new mini cast iron skillets.  I think they are so adorable!
  • No special skills required!
sliced apples with cinnamon, and caramel filling pouring on apples in a small black cast iron skillet

It’s so easy to make your own Apple Pandowdy!


Here are the Ingredients you need to make your own Apple Pandowdy.  Pressed for time?  We’re baking from scratch, but you can make a great Apple Pan dowdy using Bisquick!

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, optional
Bright image of baked apple pan dowdy shows apples and crunch topping in a small cast iron skillet

Directions

  • In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add water and lemon juice; cook over low heat until thick. Cover and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine baking powder and remaining flour and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. Add the milk and mix just until moistened (a few lumps will remain); set aside.
  • Arrange apples in 9-in. square baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Add nutmeg, vanilla and remaining butter to sauce; pour over apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls over sauce. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until top is brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with cream if desired. Yield: 9 servings.
close up image of baked apple pandowdy in a small black skillet on a wire rack

 Did you enjoy this Apple Pandowdy Recipe?  If so, please check out my other apple desserts recipes

serving of baked apple cobbler with whipped cream on a blue and white plate with antique silver spoon and skillet of apple pandowdy in the background
serving of baked apple cobbler with whipped cream on a blue and white plate with antique silver spoon and skillet of apple pandowdy in the background
Yield: 8

Apple Pandowdy Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A classic Americana dessert, pandowdy recipes were created before folks rolled out pie crusts! I love the mini cast iron pans too. xo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups apples, sliced peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, optional

Instructions

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add water and lemon juice; cook over low heat until thick. Cover and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine baking powder and remaining flour and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. Add the milk and mix just until moistened (a few lumps will remain); set aside.
  3. Arrange apples in 9-in. square baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Add nutmeg, vanilla and remaining butter to sauce; pour over apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls over sauce. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until top is brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with cream if desired. Yield: 9 servings.

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Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag me @pieladybakes or use our hashtag! #pieladybakes xo

pouring caramel filling onto sliced apples in a cast iron skillet, text says Apple Pandowdy

Hi there, I'm Judy, it's awesome to meet you! I'm a writer, master pie baker and I've been helping people reach their personal and career goals for over 30 years.   I believe everyone should experience the joy of creating old fashioned recipes, just like Mom or Grandma used to make. And I also help you to create those memories for you and your family with Simple, Delicious, Wholesome recipes that you can learn to make. We also help you discover that Simple Living isn't just a concept.  It's a state of mind. Comforting food and Simple Living. It's all here. You can read more on my About page!

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