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Kitchen Mailbox: Apple dishes capture sweetness of autumn

Thursday, October 14, 1999

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Realizing that summer is over and autumn has arrived isn't a bad thing -- not when you have great homey desserts to look forward to.

Apple Pandowdy is part of the family of cobblers, crisps and buckles. These old-fashioned desserts are made up of a variety of fruits (berries, apples, pears) and either pie or biscuit dough as a crust. Most are oven baked; some are cooked on top of the stove. It's difficult to be definitive about these desserts because slight variations were made from kitchen to kitchen and the recipes were never written down.

Our recipes today are variations of Apple Pandowdy -- each dessert has its own distinctive taste. Serve these delicious desserts with a good quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

For all the recipes today we used a combination of Jonathan, Golden Delicious and York apples.

Apple Pandowdy was requested by Heidi M. Souza of Moon Township and Jania Sommers of Charleston, S.C.

These two recipes were sent by Anna Mae Heinrich of New Castle.

Apple Nut Pudding

3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Gradually add sugar to egg, beating until sugar is dissolved (this takes around 20 minutes); add vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder. Add to sugar and egg mixture. Stir in apples and walnuts. Pour into greased 8-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (See note.)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Note:We baked ours for 35 minutes and it turned out a little dry -- start checking at 25-30 minutes.

Apple Pudding

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup flour

Place apples in a 9-by-9-inch pan. Mix water with cinnamon; pour over apples. Work butter, sugar and flour together till it resembles a thick batter; drop batter over apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.

This recipe was sent by E. Tallerico of Belle Vernon from "Women's Day Cookbook," 1966.

Apple Pandowdy

3 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

Put apples in 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and spices. Bake in a preheated moderate 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Cream butter, gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating until smooth. Spread on cooked apples and bake for 30 minutes.


Seems no one in Texas has ever heard of City Chicken (is this a 'Burgh thing?). Sunny Hoppe, formerly of Mt. Lebanon and now residing in Texas, has to prove to her Texan friends that there is such a dish. Anyone have a recipe?


Pearl Kress of McCandless wrote to Kitchen Mailbox. Here's an excerpt from her letter:

"Could you please tell me what spices you use for a bouquet garni? I have been trying to find the spices my mother used when she made turtle soup with beef (Mock Turtle Soup). I have tried so many combinations but have never hit on the right ones."

"Food Lover's Companion" by Sharon Tyler Herbst tells us that a bouquet garni (classic being parsley, thyme and bay leaf), is a bunch of herbs either tied together or placed in a cheesecloth bag. They are used to flavor broths, soups and stews. Using a bouquet garni makes removal of the herbs a breeze.

"Joy of Cooking," by Irma S. Rombauer, suggests varying the bouquet garni to suit your dish.

Here are some suggestions from "The Great Food Almanac," by Irena Chalmers.

Soups: Bay, chervil, tarragon, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, savory.

Poultry: Garlic, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory.

Beef: Bay, chives, cloves, cumin, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, savory.

Pork: Coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, sage, savory, thyme.

These suggestions are not written in stone; a bouquet can be a selection of your favorite herbs.

As for Mock Turtle Soup, the recipe we found called for garlic, allspice and parsley.

Hope this helps.

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