March 15, 2011

Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy

I've been spreading the word; this is the best thing I've made in quite some time.  It might be that these are raspberries in March or it might be that ginger biscuit top, but this is going down as some amazing March food.

To clear out the freezer I used my last bag of summer raspberries with four nice pears and baked them up in a pandowdy.  The definition of a pandowdy, if you are wondering, is "sliced fruit baked with sugar and spices in a deep dish, with a thick top crust."  And that is exactly what this is.

The pears and raspberries are perfectly harmonized and not to sweet with only a 1/2 cup of sugar.  The buttermilk biscuit topping is flaky but thick and very substantial, the type of crust you can mop up leftover juices with and the ginger brings the flavour to a whole other level.

I'll be making this one over and over again.

Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy

This recipe is from my Best of the Best Volume 13.  The original recipe is from the book Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Fruit Filling:
100 g (1/2 c) sugar
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
4 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
9 oz (2 c) fresh or frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces

210 g (1 3/4 c) flour
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
150 g (10 Tbsp) cold butter cut into small cubes
1/3 c (2 oz) candied ginger, chopped fine
2/3 c +1 Tbsp buttermilk

Place a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 400 F.  Pull out a 9 inch deep-dish pie pan.

To make the filling mix the sugar and cornstarch together well.  Add the pears and lemon juice and toss until evenly coated.  Fold in raspberries gently; transfer the fruit to the pan.  Distribute the butter over the fruit.

Whisk the flour, 3 Tbsp of sugar, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and toss until coated.  With a pastry cutter, your fingers, or two knives if you must, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas.  Stir in the candied ginger, then pour in the buttermilk and stir until just combined with the dry ingredients just moistened.

Turn the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently press the dough together and into a 9 inch circle.  Place the dough atop the fruit.  Brush the dough with the remaining tablespoon of buttermilk and spinkle the tablespoon of sugar on top.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for another 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and the juices are thick and bubbly.  Allow the dish to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  To store, cover the pandowdy only with a tea towel.

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