Last night I needed a blanket to fully enjoy reading outside while the kiddos played Umbrella. Umbrella is a popular backyard game at our house. The rules are sketchy but suffice it to say the equipment required is pretty straightforward.
So, there I was with my book and my blanket. Mufasa was manning the grill. Somebody had a wood fire going somewhere. The wind was tossing a few alarmist leaves around the swing set. No doubt about it, summer is on her way out. I hate to see her go, but here are a few of the reasons I am celebrating the arrival of fall:
Boots (Oh how I love boots! The sturdiness, the cozy ankles, the height boost...)
Kids in Halloween costumes
Reprieve from daily leg shaving
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Return to regular sock wearing (My kids' summer shoes smell like a French cheese shop)
Fake spider webs on my porch mask the real ones, making it appear spooky and festive as opposed to dirty and neglected
Sipping bourbon by the fire pit
and Apple Pandowdy
Are you familiar with pandowdy? It seems most people aren't, and that's a shame. Like her classic zucchini cake, apple pandowdy has been one of my mom's signature desserts since long before I came along. It came down the line from her mother, my Grammy Santelli, though it's unclear where she first came across this gem. I'm just really glad she did.
Think all the cinnamon-y, drippy, gooey, sweetness of pie filling nestled under a soft buttery browned biscuit crust. Put a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream on top while it's still warm. Or go all out and try it with Ruth and Phil's Sour Cream Cinnamon ice cream like I did. Ridiculous.
Everyone's always talking about apple crisp, apple crumble, baked apple chips, and yeah, pie, this time of year. I'm telling you, pandowdy is where it's at.
If you want to ensure you're family will never request an apple dessert other than pandowdy ever again, double the biscuit topping like my mom does.
5 cups apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
For the biscuit topping
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp shortening or butter
3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the brown sugar, salt, 1/4 cup flour, vinegar, and water until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Arrange the apples in a 13" x 9" (or similar) baking dish. Pour the sauce over the apples.
In a separate bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the largest clumps are pea-size. Add milk and stir until moistened. Drop the dough by the spoonful over the apples and sauce. Bake 40 minutes until the topping is starting to show several golden brown spots. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.