Modifying the everyday cooking

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” — David Mame

Pie? My family loves fruit pies. I love fruit pies. But I tire of making the same pies every holiday. So, this year I am making a cobbler, a pie, a crisp and a pan dowdy for Christmas. I do want to keep with our traditions but we do need a bit of variety. So, I‘m going to slightly rearrange the favorites. Slightly rearrange? To understand this let’s look at Wikipedia’s take on the differences among these tasty fruit lids. 

∫ A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or contains a filling of sweet or savoury ingredients.

∫ A cobbler consists of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or dumpling  before being baked.

∫ A crisp is a dessert consisting of fruit topped with a streusel crust and baked until crisp.

∫ A pan dowdy most commonly features a pie crust, which is broken or dowdied before serving.

History would suggest that a dowdy was a beautiful rounded pie crust that got smashed. Most commonly it is a pie crust cut in squares and placed haphazard on the fruit. My mom made her apple pan dowdy with biscuits. The filling was much like her apple pie, but it was sweetened with molasses therefore darker in color.

Oh Busboy, which one tastes best? Which one is easier? Hard to say. Why not give them a try?

This year I’m making apple pan dowdy, blueberry pie, peach cobbler and cherry crisp.

Today I am going to share recipes for my crisp and my cobbler and my basic pie crust in case you want to join me in elevating the everyday.  

 I have included a name that indicates the original recipe or the place from where the recipe was stolen before I adjusted it. For the fillings you are on your own. For the crisp and the cobble I use about 6 to 7 cups of peeled and sliced fruit arranged in a buttered 9-inch pan. I do not add sugar.

Fruit Crisp Topping: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 8 tablespoons — 1 stick — chilled butter.    

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter pieces and use your fingers to rub the mixture together until it is incorporated. Scatter the crisp topping evenly over the fruit without pressing down on it.    Bake until the topping is browned and the fruit is tender — about 45 to 50 minutes. 

Fruit cobbler: Fanny Farmer   1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, ¼ teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 4 tablespoons butter, 6 tablespoons milk. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles even crumbs. Slowly add milk stirring with fork. Gather the dough together and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 times until a smooth dough. Roll or pat the dough no thicker than ½ inch. Shape to fit the pan, or cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the dough over the prepared fruit. Press it down into the fruit all around the edges. Bake for 35 or 45 minutes until the juices bubble and the crust is golden. Serve warm drizzeled with warm cream.

Crust for pie and dowdy: Anita

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar. 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, 6 to 7 tablespoons cold water.  

Measure and stir the flour and salt together. Add the shortening and cut into pieces the size of split peas. Add water and toss the dough with a fork. Press the dough together with the fork then your hands to form a ball. Divide the dough into two parts. Refrigerate one. Form the remaining dough in to a flat disk. Gently roll out the dough on lightly floured surface . Turn the dough over frequently. Roll the dough to 1-inch larger than the pie pan. Roll onto rolling pin and gently fit into pan.

Repeat with the refrigerated dough. When rolled out completely, fold in half and cut air vents. Fill lower crust with fruit and cover with pie dough.  

Trim the crust. Flute as desired.

Follow baking temperature and time for your selected filling.

If making pan dowdy cut the top dough into uneven 1- to 2-inch squares. Gently place on fruit overlapping the squares.



Comments? Email Anita at [email protected]


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