Freezer Fruit Pandowdy

  • Posted by: karl

Homely and comforting, the pandowdy is one of our favorite weeknight desserts. It’s essentially a deep dish fruit cobbler, often made with apples, and topped with pie crust. Halfway through cooking, the crust is scored into a patchwork, and pressed down with a spatula, causing juices to bubble up through the cracks. We use a variation on Karl’s grandmother Bea’s recipe, mixing up the fruit and adding a little extra butter to her topping. As we avoid shopping and wait for our gardens to start producing, we’ve resorted to using the gallon freezer bags full of last year’s fruit in new ways. Normally, these last frozen berries and peaches are blended into smoothies, but recently they’ve been the base of terrific desserts. Pandemic pandowdy for the win!

Makes one 9-inch dessert


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water


  • 6 cups mixed frozen berries, peaches, or rhubarb (we’ve also used tired apples), cleaned, thawed, and prepared as for pie
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar (to taste, depending on fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch, cognac, or fruit brandy
  • 1/4 cup flour

To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter, and pulse until incorporated and the mixture is the texture of coarse cornmeal. With the motor on, pour in the water by tablespoons, until the dough comes together. Form dough into a ball, flatten to a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, mix together the thawed fruit, sugar (to taste), lemon juice and brandy. Toss to combine, then sprinkle with flour and toss again. Pour fruit into pie plate.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a 10-inch circle. Place dough on top of fruit and tuck sides in around the edge. Bake pandowdy for 40 minutes, until dough begins to color slightly and shrink from the sides. Take pie plate out of the oven, and, using a sharp knife, slice the dough into a large diamond pattern. Using a flat spatula, press the crust down, making sure the juices come up through the cracks. Return pandowdy to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until crust is browned and juices are bubbling and caramelized. Serve warm, with ice cream if you have it.

Author: karl