This classic American dessert from the 19th century is "dowdied" up when dough is cut into pieces instead of being left whole.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 4 1/2 pounds tart, firm baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Northern Spy
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, (1 lemon)
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon mace
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and 4 tablespoons of butter, and pulse about 30 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add 6 more tablespoons butter to the food processor, and pulse 3 times. Pulse a few more times while drizzling in ice water. There should still be some pea-size bits of butter in mixture.
Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and flatten with your palm. Spread out toward the edges, spreading dough to an 8-inch square. Slip your hand under one side of the plastic wrap, and fold a third of the dough into the middle, lifting away the plastic. Repeat, folding the other side of dough square toward the middle, like a letter. Press down on the folded dough to seal the layers. Wrap the dough in plastic, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough freehand into 12 squares (2 1/2 inches each), and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Return the squares to the refrigerator, and chill again until cold, about 30 minutes more.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile peel, quarter, and core the apples. Slice each quarter into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, cloves, and apple cider into a large mixing bowl, and toss well to combine. Transfer the apple mixture to a large baking dish about 5 by 10 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches deep (3 1/2 quarts). Dot top of apples with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Arrange chilled dough in a patchwork pattern over apples, allowing apples to stick out randomly between the squares. Quickly brush cold water over the squares, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake pandowdy until the juices start to bubble up and the pastry is light golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove pandowdy from oven, and place on a heat-resistant surface. Using the back of a metal spatula, press down dough so it is submerged slightly under apples and juices. Return pandowdy to the oven, and continue baking until the juices bubble up over the pastry, and the pastry is flaky rather than soggy, about 20 minutes minutes. Remove pandowdy from the oven, and let stand to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream on the side.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October