This easy Apple Pandowdy recipe is made with the yummiest baked apple pie filling topped with toasted puff pastry bites and a light dusting of powdered sugar. All of the great flavors of apple pie…without all of the work required to make a pie!
- 1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry
- 4 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 8 apples)
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter,* divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom*
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cloves and ground nutmeg*
- powdered sugar
- Thaw the puff pastry. Remove puff pastry from the freezer* and let it sit out while you prepare the rest of the ingredients so that it can thaw for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven. Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Prepare the apples. Core and peel the apples (if desired), cut them into 1/2-inch thick slices, and add the apples to a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest to the apples and gently toss to combine.
- Combine the filling. Add the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, flour, cinnamon, vanilla extract, cardamom, ginger, sea salt and cloves to the apples. Gently toss the mixture until combined and the apples are evenly coated. Spread the mixture out in an even layer in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Prepare the puff pastry topping. Gently unfold the puff pastry and transfer it to a lightly-floured cutting board. Use a pizza slicer or a knife to roughly cut the pastry into 1-inch squares (or whatever size/shape you desire). Layer the squares over the apples so that they are lightly overlapping, taking care to press down any corners that are sticking up noticeably (so that the corners do not burn). Use a pastry brush to brush the puff pastry with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Bake. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the puff pastry is lightly golden on top. (Keep an eye on it though, and if it starts to look too dark, you can gently lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the puff pastry to prevent it from toasting further.) Lower the oven heat to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the apples are soft. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack.
- Press down the topping. Use a spoon to gently press the puff pastry topping down a bit into the bubbly filling. (You don’t want to completely submerge all of the puff pastry, but rather just give it a chance to briefly soak up more of those yummy juices). Use a fine mesh strainer to dust the puff pastry with a layer of powdered sugar.
- Serve warm. Serve warm, topped with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
Butter: Feel free to brown the butter on the stovetop, if you would like to give this dish some extra-delicious nutty flavor.
Spices: I loved loading the apples up with some warming chai spices. But if you don’t have all of these spices on hand (such as cardamom or cloves), feel free to just leave them out.
Puff pastry temperature: If you live in a country where store-bought puff pastry is sold refrigerated (instead of frozen), wait to pull it out of the refrigerator until just before you are ready to cut it. (No need to leave it out for the extra thaw time.)
Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.