Perfect Pear Pandowdy


In pandowdy, a spiced fruit filling is topped with mounds of biscuit dough and then baked, similar to cobblers. Traditionally made with apples, this version of the dessert features pears; dried cranberries add a tart note. The name is believed to refer to its rather old-fashioned appearance.


  • Pear Pandowdy Crust

  • 4 large Bartlett pears (about 2 ½ pounds)

  • 1 ½ cups dried cranberries

  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

  • ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 tablespoons brandy

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for glaze

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Peel and core pears, and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl, and add dried cranberries, brown sugar, salt, pistachios, coconut, brandy, if using, and clove; toss until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a 2-quart pyrex or ceramic baking dish. Dot top with butter.

  2. Remove dough squares from refrigerator; place on top of filling so that they are slightly overlapping, leaving some filling uncovered. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream; brush over dough. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

  3. Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and push crust partly down into fruit mixture. Serve warm.

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