Friday, November 19, 2010

The Abi Diet – Holiday Edition – Pear Pandowdy

Good ol’ Martha Stewart – she is always inspiring – at least in the kitchen!  Whenever she does a special on the ‘Today Show’, I am always salivating at the end of the segment.  So a recent indulgence…Pear Pandowdy.  I didn’t know what a Pandowdy was (go figure, my dad did though!) – and I believe the “official” definition is a ‘deep dish spiced dessert with a thick crust.’  Typically pandowdy involves apples…but leave it to Martha to break tradition.

PS – I had some pears to use up – this helps in motivation!


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

  • 4 pounds firm, ripe pears such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 -inch wedges
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Directions

    1. Make the crust: Pulse flour, hazelnuts, granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until just combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup water and process until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.

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    2. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour. (Freeze remaining disk for another use.)
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a piece of parchment. Cut dough into 2-by-3-inch pieces. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine pears, granulated sugar, figs, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Transfer filling to an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.


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    5. Arrange dough pieces in a patchwork design, overlapping slightly and leaving holes in between as steam vents. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


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    Happy Baking!

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