Boysenberry Pandowdy



½ recipe No Fail Pie Crust (see below)

1 kg fresh or frozen boysenberries (Ettrick Gardens)

½ tablespoon lemon zest

120 ml Merlot or other dry red wine

150 grams sugar

15 grams cornflour

Egg wash - 1 egg lightly whisked (Agreeable Nature)

Vanilla Ice Cream for serving

No Fail Sweet Pastry


3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour, divided

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar

1¼ cups (285 grams) butter, cut into slices and chilled (Holy Cow)

6 tablespoons ice water


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups (240 grams) flour, sugar, and salt. Distribute butter slices over the top of the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture clumps together and all the flour is moistened.

Redistribute the mixture in the food processor bowl so it's evenly spread out. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup (120 grams) flour over the top and pulse until the clumps are just broken up, about 5 short pulses.

Transfer dough to a large bowl. Sprinkle water over the top of the dough. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the water, pressing it down until it becomes a compact ball. Divide the ball into two even sections. Form each half into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough in the plastic wrap so it is tight and spread to the edges. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Freeze for longer storage; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.


Prepare and chill the crust according to the directions.

Place oven racks in the center and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 200°c.

Combine the boysenberries, lemon zest, and sugar in a large bowl and toss to combine, rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the wine to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan. Place the cornflour in a small bowl and whisk in a bit of the warm wine to make a slurry. Add the slurry back into the wine and whisk to combine. Pour the warm wine mixture over the berries. Stir to evenly coat the berries.

Transfer berry filling to a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Roll your dough into a 9-inch circle (it doesn’t need to be perfectly round), then lay it over the filling. Tuck the dough in around the edge of the filling, leaving a bit of dough untucked and touching the walls of the skillet. Trim any excess. Brush with egg wash and pierce the dough in four spots in an "X" shape near the center.

Bake the pandowdy for 30 minutes, then remove the skillet from the oven. Use a sharp paring knife to cut through the dough on the diagonal, starting by making an “X” through the center through your poke marks, then cutting one parallel line on either side of the “X” lines, 6 cuts total.

Place a baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven (to catch drips) and return the skillet to the center rack. Bake for another 45 minutes, until the fruit juices are bubbling up through the cuts in the dough and the crust is golden brown. Cool the pandowdy on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then serve in bowls with vanilla ice cream.



This American dessert is a cross between a pie, a crumble and a tarte tatin and is baked in a cast iron skillet, originally made with a spiced apple filling. Early pastry recipes called for little more than flour and water, so they lacked the rich and buttery crusts we expect today. The pandowdy, which bathes the bland crust in sweet fruit juices while it’s still in the oven, was a tasty way to banish the lack of flavour upfront.


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