Cherry & Peach Pandowdy

cherry peach pandowdy

If right now you’re wondering “what the heck is a pandowdy?!” I don’t blame you. If you imagine something along the same lines a Cobbler, Crisp, Buckle or Pie. A Pandowdy is a classic 19th century Southern baked fruit dessert where the pastry is broken or cut up into pieces. This allows the fruit juices inside to bubble up and ensures extra crispy crunchy bits of pastry. Nothing dowdy about it!

cherry peach pandowdy

My love for these kinds of desserts is well documented. I just love any kind of baked fruit and pastry combination. They’re endlessly adaptable depending on what fruit is in season and work equally well in summer or winter. They’re rustic and unfussy, can be eaten warm or cold, and all that is needed to dress them up is a dusting of icing sugar and a scoop of ice cream or drizzle of cold pouring cream. Or if you’re feeling fancy, perhaps a homemade creme anglaise?

cherry peach pandowdy

For the filling this time I combined in-season white peaches and fresh cherries with a little sugar and flour, vanilla bean, orange blossom water and lemon juice. That’s it. The result was out of this world amazing. You can of course use apples, pears, apricots, plums, summer berries or any combination thereof. I also loved the sour cream pastry, which is a little different from what I would usually do, but was incredibly easy to prepare and baked up perfectly. I’ll definitely be using this for other pie crusts in future.

Make this for Christmas Day lunch, to end a backyard BBQ on a sweet note, or just because summer fruit is awesome right now. I really don’t need much of an excuse to bake a pie and take advantage of all my favourite seasonal produce!

cherry peach pandowdy

Cherry & Peach Pandowdy
Serves 6-8
Sour Cream Pastry (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 140g cold butter
  • 120g sour cream
  • Raw sugar, for scattering
Fruit Filling
  • 4 white peaches, cut into eighths
  • 400g cherries, pitted
  • 100g raw caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • Juice and rind of half a lemon
  • Pouring cream or ice cream, to serve
To make the pastry, process flour, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a food processor to combine, add butter, pulse for 30 seconds or until small lumps of butter remain. Add sour cream, pulse to combine, turn onto a work surface, bring together with the your hands and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to rest for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Combine the ingredients for the fruit filling in a bowl and then transfer to a 24cm diameter, 5cm deep pie dish. 
Roll out the pastry to about 4mm thick, brush edges of the pie dish with water. Place pastry over, press down to seal and trim with a sharp knife. Pierce a hole in the centre, brush with water and scatter with raw sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Remove from oven and use a fork to break pastry into large pieces, pressing down into the filling. Return to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes and bake until juices are bubbling up. You can serve the pie warm or cold with pouring cream or ice cream.

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