We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pandowdy?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pandowdy, sometimes written as pan dowdy, is a dessert with an unknown origin. The name however, has long been fun to use, and the dessert to many is the ultimate in comfort food desserts. Some traditions suggest early European settlers of the Americas created the dessert, and most believe the fruit used for the first renderings of the dessert was apples. Hence apple pandowdy is the most commonly featured type.

The name pandowdy may be a reference to the “dowdy” or rumpled appearance of the dessert in finished form. A layer of sweetened and spiced fruit is given a thick top crust, usually made with pastry or piecrust. As the dessert cooks and the crust hardens, the crust is pushed and broken into the fruit with a fork, which allows the juices of the baking fruit to somewhat cover the crust. Some recipes merely suggest breaking up the crust after the pandowdy is removed from the oven. When a pandowdy recipe uses a traditional pastry or piecrust, it typically calls for you to make enough crust for a two-crust pie, but to roll this amount out into a thicker crust to lay on top of the fruit.

There are some inaccuracies online regarding recipes and descriptions of apple pandowdy. A few websites mistakenly refer to the dessert as an apple upside down cake, or where the fruit is baked on top of a biscuit like, or cake like crust, then inverted before serving. Most recipes for this fruit dessert do not suggest this method, and perhaps these other accounts are mistaking the dessert with other fruit concoctions like clafouti or buckles.

Instead, the pandowdy most resembles a deep-dish pie, with the addition of breaking up the crust, or to some people who make cobbler with piecrust instead of biscuit dough, the dish would just be cobbler. It should be understood that traditional cobbler uses a biscuit or dumpling dough rather than pastry dough. Another part of the name pandowdy may refer to the fact that the dish is usually assembled in a pan or skillet, rather than a in a pie dish. Actually, you can be pretty liberal in choosing your pan or dish for the dessert, and you can even make this dessert in big oblong or square pans. Fortunately you don’t have to be particularly skilled with rolling out crust, and a few holes won’t matter since you’ll break the crust up before serving it.

While this dessert may look a bit worse for the wear, many people attest to its delicious taste. Some recipes can get a little dry, especially if you break up the crust during the cooking process. It’s suggested you don’t add too much flour to your fruit, since this can cause less juices to flow.

Using ripe but not overripe apples can also help, as apples tend to get a little dry as they age; if you’re using older apples add a little apple juice to moisten up the fruit. Though many people use sugar to sweeten the fruit, there are a number of recipes that call for sweetening with molasses. This would give the fruit a heartier taste, and molasses goes well with apples. Sugar may be a better choice for pandowdies made with peaches, apricots, or berries.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.