Not only is it Progressive Eats Day, but it’s also my month to host! Yay! This month, we got together to bring you some delicious outdoor favorites with our Cookout theme! Burgers star, as befits Burger Month, and are supported by some loaded baked potatoes, corn, a lovely fruit salad, and homemade baked beans. Because we love dessert, we’ve given you three to choose from, including my offering, a homey blueberry peach pandowdy. Please check out everyone’s deliciousness and then scroll on down to grab the pandowdy recipe.
Want to find all the Progressive Eats menus? Search the Progressive Eats Archives.
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad from The Redhead Baker
- Indian Grilled Corn on the Cob – Street Style Bhutta from Spice Roots
- Blue Cheese Bison Burger with Bacon Caramelized Onions from Creative Culinary
- Fresh Fruit Salad with Bourbon-Orange Syrup (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Homemade Baked Beans from Food Hunter’s Guide
- Blueberry Peach Pandowdy from Pastry Chef Online (you’re here!)
- Rustic Berry Turnovers from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Rum-Glazed Grilled Bananas from Mother Would Know
What’s a Pandowdy, Anyway?
As with many dishes with long histories, nobody is really sure when it first showed up on family tables, but the pandowy–usually made with apples–probably came along at some point in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. The story is that it’s called a “dowdy” (baked in a pan, I guess, hence pandowdy) because it’s sort of frumpy looking with it’s haphazardly cut pastry top.
Here’s my thought, though. I sort of feel like some poor harried cook rushed her pie or stuffed it too full or baked it too hot and the top crust split. Rather than copping to making a less-than-perfect pie, I think she thought on her feet and decided to just cut the whole top up, camouflaging her mistake and making the whole affair seem very intentional. It’s the classic “I meant to do that all along” save that is the stuff of legend: the chimichanga and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups fall into the same category. (Hey! You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!)
I honestly have no idea if this is the true origin of the dish, but I do know that if you’re apprehensive about making a crust that you can roll onto filling in one large piece, it’s much easier to just shingle on smaller pieces of dough. So whether or not the original cook meant to make the dessert this way or she just pulled a save out of the ether, this is a great starter pie.
Blueberry Peach Pandowdy
Since summer is fast approaching here in the south, I decided to forgo tradition and work with peaches and blueberries. Fortunately, local blueberries have started to make their appearance. Juicy, ripe, North Carolina peaches are still a few weeks away, so I used frozen. Feel free to use frozen or fresh blueberries and/or peaches. Do use ripe fruit, though, because you’ll need their juices once you dowdy up your crust!
I went all in with the pastry in this dessert, pushing some pieces under the fruit before baking and shingling the others on top. The pieces submerged from the beginning are basically little fruit syrup-soaked dumplings. What’s not to love about that? Add to that lovely, fruity, chewy texture some crisp, sugar-sprinkled pieces on top, and this dessert, while a bit homely looking, has a really nice interplay of textures in each bite. Winner!
First though, let’s make sure you have what you need to make this peach blueberry pandowdy.
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The cast iron skillet is the same one I used to make this pandowdy. You already know I don’t want you to live without a bench knife, so go ahead and grab one–you will use it for so much. The tapered pin is my favorite kind of rolling pin, because it’s so easy to maneuver, and the cooling rack is something everyone should have at least one of. I think I own about 8 cooling racks, some round and some rectangular.
As always, thank you for supporting PCO by shopping through my affiliate links.
And now, let’s make this blueberry peach pandowdy, shall we?
This blueberry peach pandowdy tastes like summer. With buttery pieces of pie dough both tucked into and baked on top of lightly sweetened, spiced peaches and blueberries, this is one dowdy dessert that will be right at home at either a picnic or a dinner party.
- 1 pint fresh blueberries rinsed
- 3 cups peeled and sliced peaches fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar or demerara
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour or corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- several gratings whole nutmeg or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, ground
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- heavy pinch kosher salt
- pie crust for a single crust pie homemade or storebought
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 425F.
Place the fruit in a large bowl.
Add the sugar, flour or corn starch, spices, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Toss everything together evenly.
Loosely pile into an 8" cast iron skillet or similar-sized pie plate or baking dish.
Roll out the pie crust fairly thinly into a rough rectangle. Generously trim the edges to leave a square of dough. Cut up the trimmings into 2" pieces and tuck 6-8 of these in and under the fruit in the pan.
Cut the remaining square of dough into 2" squares and shingle these onto the fruit.
Brush the dough lightly but thoroughly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle on the sugar evenly and fairly generously.
Bake the pandowdy for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and turn the oven down to 375F.
With a heat-safe spatula, cut down in between the squares of dough, pressing some of it down into the juices. It might not be super juicy quite yet, but it will be. Don't worry.
Bake an additional 35 minutes, or until the pastry is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling all over the pie--not just around the edges. If some of the pastry is starting to get too dark, cover those areas with some foil. Just keep an eye on things to make sure you don't over-brown your pandowdy.
Cool to warm before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or some barely sweetened whipped cream.
If you'd like to make the same pastry I did, I made Lazy Baker's Puff Pastry from the cookbook Baking by Hand. (Scroll down quite a way to grab that recipe.) I used 1/3 of the linked recipe, and I've frozen the other 2/3 to use some other time.
If you are not using any frozen fruit, your baking time could be 10 minutes or so less, so just keep an eye on your guy and make sure it doesn't over-brown.
And there you have it–my homey (homely?) blueberry peach pandowdy. I think you’re going to love it! I hope you’ve enjoyed and saved everyone’s posts. It’s so much fun as well as an honor to post with these talented ladies every month. Thank you for spending time with us today!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Our menu this month features all things Cookout! We have quite a spread for you this month, anchored by a fabulous burger and rounded out with apps, sides, and not one but three desserts. This month, I’m hosting! I’m excited about this months’ menu, especially the three dessert offerings (because you know I love some dessert)!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
Search the Progressive Eats Archives for all our creative and delicious menus.