One of the things I love about the fall is the crispness that’s in the air. It’s cool enough that you’ll still need a jacket, but not so cold that you need to bundled up to the gills. That will come later.
I took advantage of the lovely weather and took the dog for a little walk. Nearby there’s a series of trails one can take. Each trail varies in length from just under one kilometer to over three kilometers. So not to long that halfway through you’re wondering “Why did I start this stupid hike in the first place?” The forest trails are a great place to contemplate life, or just enjoy the beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow.
Another great thing about fall is apples. Yes, you can get apples all year ’round now, but fall there an abundance of great varieties that you usually don’t see for the rest of the year. So, instead of just settling for the usual Gala, Red Delicious, or Granny Smith, there are great ones like Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, or Northern Spy.
As I was researching the previous post about molasses, I found a wonderful recipe called Apple Pandowdy. It was printed in my copy of the all New Purity Cookbook. This cookbook has been around Newfoundland kitchens for decades. My grandmother has a well worn copy in her kitchen and I have mine. I highly recommend it if you want a cookbook that will give the basics of cooking as well as a little bit of history. Purity is a company in Newfoundland which makes a variety of desserts and snacks, and many other goodies. Any Newfoundlander will tell you stories about growing up chewing on a piece of hard tack or jam-jams.
I’ve adapted the recipe from the one in the Purity Cookbook. The great thing about this recipe is you can make it a day in advance and it won’t affect the taste in the slightest. In fact it may be better. The flavours would have had a chance to meld and blend and the sauce will be slightly less runny.
First preheat your oven to 375F. Then make the sauce. Combine the molasses, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Add one cup of water and heat on medium until the sauce thickens. It should take five minutes or so. Remove from the heat. Then add the butter one piece at a time and stir with a whisk until the butter is melted. I cut my butter into four pieces so it would melt a little faster. The add the vanilla and lemon juice. The sauce should be thick, like a caramel.
Peel and slice 4 cups of apples. I used four, but you may need more or less depending on the size of the apples. Place in a greased 9 inch square baking dish. Pour the sauce on the apples, trying to cover them completely.
Now to make the topping. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter. This is the same thing as when I made the scones, but the butter pieces should be finer. Add the milk and beaten egg and combine. The batter should be thick.
Scoop on top of the apples and spread out to cover the top. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving. The crust can be “dowdied” or broken into smaller pieces and then served. Great with whipped cream or ice cream.
Look at that amazing creamy sauce. The molasses gives it that unique taste of Newfoundland without making it too sweet. The crust is fluffy and light and soaks up the sauce beautifully. The perfect dessert after a crisp fall walk through the woods.
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 1/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups apples peeled and sliced. Use baking apples for firmer texture.
- 1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
Blend together in a saucepan the molasses, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Add the water and heat on medium until mixture has come to a boil and thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add the butter pieces one piece at a time until each one is melted. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
Peel and slice 4 cups of apples. Slices can be about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange apple slices in a greased 9" square baking dish which is at least 2" deep.
Pour sauce over apples, making sure to cover the apples as much as possible.
Prepare biscuit dough. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter pieces with a pastry cutter or two forks, until the butter is finely incorporated. Add the milk and beaten egg and mix to make a soft dough batter. Drop with a spoon over fruit mixture. Spread evenly but do not stir.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 35-45 minutes until crust in golden brown. Cool slighty but serve warm. Makes 6 servings.