As the September weather ebbs and flows from cool to hot to cool again, that seasonal change is even more evident at the farmers market. Right this very moment, it’s evenly split between summer peaches and fall apples. Next week the apples will outnumber the peaches and the week after that, quit possible just apples (as it should be). So, grab those last fruits of summer and make peach pandowdy. This authentic southern recipe comes by way of my sister-in-law, Kelley. Read on for Kelley’s secret to what makes this one a keeper.
What’s a pandowdy: Not as perfect looking as a fruit pie, but just as warm and comforting in a home cooked way. The pandowdy topping starts at the bottom with batter poured over butter that’s already been melting in the baking dish. The batter puffs up around the peaches that are the last layer, creating a harmonious balance of cake and fruit.
Kelley’s secret ingredient: My sister-in-law, Kelley grew up in Georgia with home cooking in her blood. She has a sixth sense for making food taste great in all its simple southern charm. Kelley adds a few cranks of freshly ground pepper to her pandowdy for a little “heat to balance out the sweet”.
Other fruit options: Pandowdy is a home cook’s dream because it’s quick to put together and you probably have all of the ingredients. But, don’t just limit yourself to peaches. Use a combo of other late summer fruit such as nectarines and plums (there are lots of varieties of both). Apples also make a great pandowdy.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1-cup flour
- 1-cup sugar
- 1-tablespoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Few cranks (3) of fresh pepper
- 1-cup whole milk
- 3 lbs. ripe peaches (5-6), sliced
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 9x13-inch baking pan and melt in the oven.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add milk until combined. Pour over butter, but do not stir.
- Arrange peaches on top of batter. Bake 25-30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Batter will be darker at the edges and the batter will puff up around the peaches as it bakes. Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream.