Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This just in....The iron skillet is now a muli-tasker. Alton Brown Rejoices!

Apple Pandowdy/Skillet Apple Saves the Day!!!!
If you recall from the Dutch Baby post, I purchased a cast iron skillet just to make the dutch baby. This is a no no in Alton land, kitchen items should. not. be. uni-taskers. It seems the skillet has my Marcia Brady like conscience and did not want to break any rules. I must, simply must, find another use for it. Well my friends, the Apple Pandowdy/Skillet Apple Pie stepped in and saved the day. The pandowdy is much like an apple pie, with no bottom crust that is prepared, and bake in your skillet. Your OVEN-SAFE skillet.
I followed a Cooks Illustrated recipe (posted below). It was quite yummy and the crust. My oh my the crust. Now THIS one, I fell off the chair for. I will be using this crust over and over again.
Ill break it down in pictures first....
The apple slices caramelizing in the skillet. (Black Stovetop + Black Skillet + Bad Lighting + Bad picture taking = a picture that looks like apples sitting on top of the stove)
The top crust. Cut once down and twice across the top.

This guy....To be fair, if Alton is reading, this was a gift AND you COULD use it for potatoes. AND it peels and cores, OR peels, cores and slices. Those are two different options. I have found a loop hole here. Either way, its magical. My mother-in-law bought me this for my birthday one year. The apple-peeler-corer-slicer makes quick work of getting those apples ready for the pie.
My Grandma Laura can take an apple and peel it so that their is just one long peel when she is done. Me, not so much.

see the pandowdy baking in the oven.

The finished product with ice cream. I think this picture proves I need new dishes.

The partially eaten pandowdy....

Here is the recipe. ENJOY!

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces

3–4 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup apple cider

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter unsalted butter

2 1/2 pounds sweet apples (like Golden Delicious) and tart apples(like Cortland or Empire) (about 5 medium apples), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 egg white , lightly beaten 2 teaspoons sugar

1. FOR THE CRUST: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, bits should be no larger than the size of a pea. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough does not come together. Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 4-inch disk. Wrap dough and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling out.

3. FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Whisk cider, syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon (if using) together in medium bowl until smooth. Heat butter in 12-inch heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add apples and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times until apples begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Remove pan from heat, add cider mixture, and gently stir until apples are well coated. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface to 11-inch circle. Place over apple filling in skillet. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. With sharp knife, gently cut dough into 6 pieces by making 1 vertical cut followed by 2 evenly spaced horizontal cuts. Bake until apples are tender and crust is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes; serve.

1 comment:

Diva Ma said...

Okay, this looks really mmmmmmm. I can't back at all, so I'm sure I'd mess it up. But I will buy a cast iron skillet just in case.