Apricot and Sweet Cherry Pandowdy Recipe
Perhaps the odd name of this dessert is what has kept it off the radar of most home cooks, but it’s perfect for bakers who lack confidence, because you break up the crust halfway through baking! This version combines apricots and sweet cherries and nestles them under an almond crust for a marzipanlike flavor, with an anything-but-dowdy outcome.
Game plan: The dough can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Let it rest at room temperature while preparing the fruit, then roll it out.
This recipe was featured as part of our Summer Fruit Desserts recipe slideshow.
For the dough:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 ounces slivered, blanched almonds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the filling:
- 3 cups pitted and halved apricots (about 1 pound)
- 3 cups pitted Bing cherries (about 15 ounces)
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), cut into small pieces
- Combine the sugar and almonds in a food processor and pulse to a fine powder, about 20 (1-second) pulses. Whisk together the almond mixture, measured flour, and salt in a large bowl until evenly combined. (Check out our Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust for pointers.)
- Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-size pieces, about 3 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water and the almond extract and mix until the dough just comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.)
- Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.
For the filling:
- Once the dough has rested, toss the fruit with the salt, lemon zest, and brown sugar in a large bowl until the fruit is well coated. Pour into a shallow 2-quart baking dish and dot the fruit mixture with the butter.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it on a lightly floured surface, and roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness (it should be large enough to fit over the baking dish with a 1/2-inch overhang on all sides). Top the fruit mixture with the dough and tuck the edges into the dish.
- Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Bake the pandowdy until the top has browned slightly and is crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
- With a knife, score 2-inch squares in the crust. Spoon fruit juice from the baking dish over the top, then push the squares down slightly with the back of the spoon. Return the dish to the oven and bake until the fruit is tender and the pastry is browned on the edges and flaky, about 25 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes and serve.