I took my little kitty cat to the Halloween carnival last night. She wore a long black tail, soft, pointy ears and glittery, black Chuck Taylors. Oh, she was adorable jumping in that bouncy house, all black leggings and ponytail.
We stood in line for about two hours and played games for about five minutes. Stuck our hands in buckets of eyeballs and skeleton bones. Ate some candy….okay, a lot of candy. Then on our way home we ding-dong ditched a couple of friends’ houses, leaving bags of gummy body parts on their doorsteps.
Yep, having kids gives you a permission to do some pretty awesome stuff. Like tip-toe up to someone’s front door, knock, then grab your child and run like mad. Seriously, try it, that kind of breathless laughter is rejuvenating. Just remember to leave a bag of candy in your wake.
Halloween is the epitome of childish behavior and gives even the most straight-laced among us an excuse to dress in costume and eat too much candy. Even if you can’t bring yourself to paint fake blood on your face or even slap on a pencil mustache you can make a silly sounding dessert and still totally maintain your dignity.
A pandowdy is like a cobbler made with pie dough instead of biscuits, or like a pie without a bottom crust. You start off by making the fruit filling with apples, dark brown sugar, and fresh minced ginger then pile that into a baking dish and cover it with pie crust.
And guess what? It doesn’t matter if the crust cracks a little because you are going to break it up into pieces in a little while anyway.
So, like I was saying, after the pandowdy bakes for a little while, you take it out of the oven and cut the crust up into little squares, okay these look more like diamonds, so you cut the crust into 2-inch diamonds.
Now here comes the magic. With the back of a large spoon, you push some of those crust pieces into the apple filling and pull up some of the apples and their juices over the crust. Then put it back in the oven.
When it is finished baking some of the crust pieces become soft and chewy, soaked in apple-ginger juice and some of the pieces are crisp and toasted. This dessert is a mess in the best way possible. As with any fruit-filled, crust concoction—serve warm with lots of ice cream (dairy-free, of course).
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
- 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- To make the crust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add vegetable shortening and toss into the flour mixture with your hands until all pieces are coated in flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles cake crumbs.
- Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing the water into the flour mixture with your fingers. Once you've added 3 tablespoons of water, gather a handful of dough and squeeze it together in the palm of your hand. If it holds together, gather all the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If it doesn't hold together, add another tablespoon of water and try again.
- While the dough rests, heat oven to 400°F.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the apples are coated in sugar. Pour the filling into a shallow 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Remove dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1-inch longer and 1-inch wider than your baking dish. Place the dough over the filling, trim any overhanging dough and tuck it down along the insides of your dish. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pandowdy from the oven and turn the heat down to 350°F. With a sharp pairing knife, score the crust into 2-inch squares, then push some of the squares down into the filling and spoon some of the juices up over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the apples are soft, the juices bubbling, and the crust is golden. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or room temperature with vegan ice cream or whipped cream for your non-vegan friends.