Need a simple, homey dessert that is easy to make? Raspberry Pandowdy features fresh raspberries, sweetened and cooked with a flaky pastry topping for a rustic dessert you’ll love! The topping may be made with either gluten-free or with gluten flour.
There is nothing more delicious than naturally ripened berries in summer, is there? I could happily eat them raw every day but finding recipes to showcase their goodness is part of my summer kitchen fun. The recipes must be easy as I quickly lose interest in slaving in the kitchen during the hottest months of the year. Raspberry Pandowdy is one of the classic Americana recipes I love and I think you will too!
If the name of this dessert does not strike your fancy I’m not surprised. There’s really nothing about it that gives a hint to what it even is! A Pandowdy is part of the Crisp and Crumble family of desserts. Like cobblers and crisps, it’s very basic and simple to prepare. It’s a homey comfort food with sweet berries cooked with a pastry topping making a relaxed summer dessert.
In this case I wanted the raspberries to shine and not fight for flavor attention with heavy dough or overpowering ingredients. A pandowdy is almost an upside-down pie in concept though with a format like a Crumble. It’s very simple; fruit on the bottom, crust on top in a very rustic form. It is not a fussy dessert by any means but rather a flavorful and simple celebration of seasonal fruit.
Raspberry Pandowdy is a scoopable dessert so though the size of the pan will determine how deep the recipe is, a serving is more the volume of your scoop! Typically I’ve found making the recipe in an 8-inch by 11-inch baking dish is about right (refer to photo in recipe below for the depth), though even a 9-inch by 9-inch pan would work well. The Raspberry Pandowdy in the photos above was cooked in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan which leaves it a bit thin.
I adapted one of my Great Grandmother’s pie crust recipes that is light and flaky for the topping. It was originally a gluten pie crust but it works wonderfully with gluten-free flour, so can really be made to suit your needs. If you are feeling lazy you can even use a store-bought pie crust especially since it’s broken into pieces when added to the top to allow steam to escape. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s heaven!
- 1 cup Flour (gluten-free or regular) (I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour)
- 1/3 cup Unsalted butter (5 1/3 tablespoons) cold and sliced (plus extra to grease the pan)
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Ice Water
- 5 cups Raspberries rinsed
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg freshly grated if possible
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch or Arrowroot Starch
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch by 11-inch baking pan. NOTE: this is a scoopable dessert which will be about 1-inch thick in this pan size. The serving size provides enough volume per person.
- Equip a food processor with the kneading blade (or if making by hand use a dough/pastry blender) combine the flour, butter (1/3 cup), salt and blend until grainy. Slowly add ice water while blending to allow the dough to make a smoother consistency and form a ball. Do not over blend. NOTE: depending on whether you use gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour, you may not need to use all of the ice water.
- Place the dough ball between two pieces of wax paper and roll out to be about 1/8 inch thick. Place in the dough in the wax paper in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to chill. Note: if the dough is too warm/sticky to roll out, you can chill the dough ball 20 minutes and then proceed with rolling out and re-chilling.
- While the dough chills, in a large bowl combine the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg and gently fold in to combine. Sprinkle the mixture with the cornstarch and fold in completely. Spoon berry mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Breaking off pieces of the crust, cover the berry mixture completely. Placing the crust in this way allows for steam to more easily escape as well for the berry juices to seep through to the top over some of the crust.
- Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove and allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.