I love a fruity, summer dessert with a funny name! So if blueberry peach pandowdy sounds like a winner, pull up a chair!

If you’re the same way, you may some of my other funny-sounding desserts: lazy peach sonker or mixed cherry berry grunt.

Today, however, we’re talking pandowdy.

While apple pandowdy might be the most notable version, I am partial to this juicy, fruity blueberry peach number.

For ease of browsing, you can find all my cobblers and other fruit desserts in one place. Thanks so much for visiting!

Overhead shot of pandowdy in a cast iron skillet with a bowl of blueberry peach pandowdy topped with vanilla ice cream.

The (Questionable) Beginnings of Pandowdy

Here’s my thought. Totally apocryphal and also believable!

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Overhead partial shot of a cast iron skillet of baked fruit pandowdy.
If you’re intimidated by rolling out pie crust, a pandowdy is the dessert for you. Simply cut squares (or any shape) out of your pie dough and shingle them all over the top of your fruit.

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.

Use Fresh Juicy Fruit When Available

Cast iron pan with baked blueberry peach pandowdy.

In the summer when there is so much fruit to be had, you don’t have to go with a traditional apple pandowdy. Save that for the winter.

Work with peaches and blueberries, blackberries, cherries–any ripe juicy fruit you can find, 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.

Pandowdy-Making Tools

A horizontal shot of a cast iron skillet with cooked fruit and pieces of pie crust in it with a bowl of dessert scooped out with ice cream on top.

This is the cast iron skillet 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 rolling pin is my favorite kind of rolling pin, because it’s so easy to maneuver, and cooling racks are something everyone should have at least one of.

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Blueberry Peach Pandowdy

Jennifer Field
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.
5 from 1 vote
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Cobblers, Crisps and More
Cuisine Vintage American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 318 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries rinsed
  • 3 cups peeled and sliced peaches fresh or frozen
  • cup granulated sugar or demerara
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons flour or corn starch
  • ½ 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 store-bought

To Finish

  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
 

  • 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.

To Finish and Bake

  • 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.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 167mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27g
Keyword baking, blueberry, blueberry peach pandowdy, old fashioned desserts, pandowdy, peach
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And there you have it–my homey (homely?) blueberry peach pandowdy. I think you’re going to love it!

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day!

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16 Comments

  1. I love pandowdies. They’re much easier than a pie. (I can’t even get a crust into a pie pan without tearing it!)

    My mom came to live with me her last few years. She loved to cook and so do I. We made a couple of apple pandowdies and really liked them. I also have an apricot tree and fig tree. We used those in our pandowdies, too. All was good!

    We did a couple things differently than what you suggest. We tucked the pie crust in all the way around and let it cook a while, then we’d take it out of the oven and break up the crust some, so the juices could ooze out as it finished. Also, we took to using tapioca, rather than corn starch or flour for the thickener. We thought it was a better consistency.

    I’m anxious to try yours with the peaches and blueberries.

    1. Hey, Rob! Thanks so much for stopping in and taking the time to comment. What a treasure that you and your mom were able to cook together during her last years. I need to play with tapioca as a thickener because I know it doesn’t add a chalky color or flavor once chilled. And your way of making a pandowdy is probably way more traditional than mine. Shingling on the crust is a bit fussier and looks cool in photos, but breaking the crust up is most likely more authentic. I can imagine someone baking a pie, having the crust blow out (maybe they forgot to cut vents) and then just breaking it up more, passing it off as intentional! lol No matter how you make yours, I think you’ll really enjoy the peach blueberry combo!

  2. I’ve always heard about pandowdy but never made one. Now that you’ve given me a culinary history lesson and a recipe, I’m all set to take advantage of summer fruit in a pandowdy kind of way:)

  3. I did a post years ago that highlighted the differences between a multitude of baked goods that combine fruit and crust and included both the cobbler and pandowdy. I love the idea of a crispier topping from crust dough so this version has always been a favorite…and the combination of ingredients you’ve done literally has me dying to find some peaches; could you send me some? Our summer is just finally starting! 🙂

    1. I actually thought of you and your gorgeous Colorado peaches, Barb! You must make this when your peaches come in! And I honestly wasn’t sure tucking some of the dough down in the fruit before topping with more crust and baking would work, but those guys ended up like little fruit-poached dumplings. Lord, it was so good!

  4. 5 stars
    I LOVE Pandowdies and your combo of peach and blueberry has me salivating dear Jenni! Stunning photos, delicious recipes, and one heck of a theme for our #ProgressiveEats. You hit it out of the park this time my friend (as you always do)!

  5. Thanks for teaching me about Pandowdy. I kept wondering what this thing was you were making! Looks absolutely delicious. and thank you for a wonderful theme!

    1. It’s the funnest word in the world, and I’d never made one before. I love PE partly because I can check things off my list of things to make and partly because I get to play with you guys! xo

  6. Thanks for hosting us this busy time of year, Jenni! Pandowdy is now of my must make list—the combination of blueberry and peach looks incredible!!!

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