Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peach and plum pandowdy

I had half a dozen peaches, nectarines, and plums on the far side of ripeness, so decided to whip together a pandowdy.

A pandowdy is simply a one-crust pie, with the crust on the top.  I love making them because (a) they're quick to put together, and (b) the soggy bottom crust is eliminated by simply eliminating the bottom crust.

Lazy chef cheat -- I always keep a box or two of Pillsbury pastry crusts in the freezer so I can do a pie on the fly.  I will confess my sin on Saturday.  Honestly, though, they're really quite good.

Cut up enough peaches, plums, and nectarines to make five to six cups cut-up fruit.  You can take the time to peel the fruit, but honestly, it pretty much disintegrates when cooking and it's a waste of time.  And forget about trying to peel a plum.

Sprinkle the fruit with a good cup of sugar, and add 2 tablespoons Minute® Tapioca.  Sprinkle some cinnamon, a few grates of nutmeg, a pinch of salt.  Let it sit for 5 minutes while you prep the baking dish.

Spray a 6-cup baking dish with release spray.  Dump in the sugared fruit.  Dot with butter. 

Unroll the Pillsbury crust and cut it into strips (I use a ravioli cutter -- a paring knife will suffice.)  Lay the strips on top of the fruit in any sort of pattern you like.  Random looks quite fetching.

Paint with some cream or half-n-half.  Sprinkle some coarse brown (turbinado) sugar on top, and pop into a 400°F oven until the crust is nicely browned, and the fruit is bubbling up all around the edges, 45-55 minutes.  I use the convection setting on my oven, which encourages a nice browning of the crust. 

Lazy chef cheat -- put the baking dish on a sheet pan which has been covered with Reynolds® Non-Stick Foil.  You will thank yourself later after the fruit syrup bubbles up and over the baking dish.

How beautiful is that?

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