Peach & Blackberry Pandowdy


There are, as you know, some things I love to make simply because of their names. Grunts, buckles, Betties and pandowdies (that must be the plural of pandowdy, no?) always reel me in. All are fruity things, topped with some form of starchy carbohydrate; to simplify, a pandowdy is an upside down pie of sorts – what you might know as a fruit crumble, topped with pastry instead of the usual buttery, sugary rubble.

I’ve always been a fan of the single-crust pie; two can be too much, particularly when the ratio of pastry to fruit flips in favour of pastry. Not that I have anything against pastry, of course – but I do tend to get stingy about my calories, and the bottom crust, especially when it’s a sort of pallid white (which let’s face it, it usually is) is kind of a waste. I often dig out the filling and eat the top crust and edge, leaving the bottom. With a pandowdy, you kind of have the best of both worlds; plus you don’t need to stress about whether or not your pie will cut into clean slices, because it’s not supposed to.

I served this last night with burnt sugar ice cream, which was a hit. I was in a hurry, thinking the friends around my table (these guys, and these guys) might be anxious to leave (they weren’t), and so prematurely scooped the hot pandowdy onto plates and topped it with soft-from-the-machine ice cream, which resulted in a sort of chunky (albeit delicious) soup. In my haste (and the early dark – sigh) I didn’t take a photo, which is as good an excuse as any to make another batch, don’t you think?

This chunk of pandowdy was left over this morning. On a Sunday when you’ve had nearly 4 hours of sleep and have been forced out of bed at 7 to listen to Dora and clean every dish in the house, a wedge of peach-blackberry pandowdy for breakfast makes a fine consolation prize.


Peach & Blackberry Pandowdy

Recipe link


September 6, 2009

  • Makes: Serves 8.


5 large peaches (or more, if you like)

2 cups (ish) fresh or frozen blackberries

1/3-1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

pinch salt

pastry for a single crust pie, chilled


1Preheat the oven to 400F.

2Get out a deep baking dish (mine was about 7"x10") and slice your peaches into it, not bothering to peel them. Add the blackberries. Stir the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small dish and sprinkle overtop, then toss with your hands until more or less combined.

3On a lightly floured countertop, roll the pastry out until roughly an inch bigger around than the edge of the baking dish. Place it overtop, fold the edges under and kind of crimp them, pressing up against the edge of the pan. Don't worry about being neat about it - this is what they call rustic.

4Cut a few slits in the top and if you like, brush with milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let cool for 20 minutes to allow the juices to thicken.

Makes: Serves 8.

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15 comments on “Peach & Blackberry Pandowdy

  1. Erica B.
    September 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I’m with you, totally a top crust girl. I’ve also been there the morning after – cleaning with one eye open because I was roused far too early by a preschooler who inherited his dad’s morning-person-ness….just my dinner guests are usually lawyers, accountants and pilots :)

    Love the pandowdy and all those other fruity crumbly warm desserts. Now that I’ve unearthed most of my cookware it’s on the list for this week. :)

  2. Kristin
    September 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    A fruit dessert with burnt sugar ice cream sounds like a match made in heaven. I just ordered a copy of Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, full of recipes like this, I can’t wait to get it.

  3. Carolyn
    September 7, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Count me in as a one crust girl, too. I was just thinking about this topic yesterday – there are far too few really good fruit pie recipes with only one crust. Thanks for this one! Burnt Sugar ice cream – any tips on how to make this?

  4. Jess
    September 7, 2009 at 3:55 am

    You know I’m with you with the on the one-crust thing, Julie. Though frankly, with burnt sugar ice cream (burnt sugar ice cream!!) at the ready, it’s possible that I would skip the single-crusted dessert altogether! (No offense to your gorgeous pandowdy.)

  5. JulieVR
    September 7, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Oh yes – once I re-freeze my ice cream machine insert I’ll go at it again… the burnt sugar ice cream deserves its own post!

  6. rea
    September 7, 2009 at 6:15 am


    sounds like yoda speak: pandowdy, i love.

  7. Elizabeth L.
    September 7, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t eat the bottom crust. I always feel like a bit of a freak when I do that!

    Regarding your friends–Wow! I had planned on a spice cabinet clean out as the seasons change and their beautiful website has pushed that job up to the top of the ‘to do’ list. I can’t wait to try their amazing products. The farm dinner photo looks heavenly too.

    Have you had the fennel pollen?

  8. Kathy
    September 7, 2009 at 8:08 am

    All I can say is YUM. Having used the last of our peaches yesterday, can someone tell me how many cups of whatever fruit (I’m thinking mixed berries would be awesome) I’d need total ? Thanks.

  9. thepinkpeppercorn
    September 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    DEFINITELY a fantastic consolation prize…. Not sure which is worse, the cleaning every dish in the house or the Dora part…hehe

  10. Jennifer
    September 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I also scrap every tasty morsel from the bottom crust when there are two crusts involved. Often, this act leaves me feeling a smidgen of guilt. What’s that about? I adore pies that are not fussy in presentation and am smitten with this treat’s name too.

  11. ajdoula
    September 8, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I made a peach tarte tatin this week, which combines the best of both worlds: it’s one crust, but the tarte is flipped after baking not as scary as it sounds),so you get the yummy, crunchy crust on the bottom, and the sweet baked peaches on top (a little caramel swirled on the bottom of the pan at the beginning didn’t hurt, either!)

  12. Ashley
    September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

    My favourite part of a pie is the crust so I would always choose double crusted pies. But if I have to go for a single crust I definitely agree that having it on top like this is perfect.

  13. JulieVR
    September 8, 2009 at 9:39 am

    ooooh… tarte tatin made with ANYTHING is wonderful! I was going to make peach tarte tatin, but couldn’t find puff pastry, and didn’t have the gumption to make it from scratch!

  14. Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
    September 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Every post I read of yours makes me want to pull up a chair at your table and not just because the food is great – you are so real and down to earth.

    I haven’t heard of burnt sugar ice cream but is sounds great. Loved your dinner guests, too. :)

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