- A kind of spiced apple pie baked in a deep dish.
“I made a pandowdy and a tray of brownies for the bake sale.”
“Instead of a cake for my birthday, can you make a pandowdy?”
“After lemon meringue, pandowdy is my favorite pie.”
American English, mid-19th century
Why this word?
While nothing is as American as a well-baked pandowdy, apple pies were not actually invented in America. They were invented in Europe in the 14th century, and were flavored with just the fruit and various spices, as sugar was a rare delicacy. Since there was no sugar, the crust (called a “coffin”) was also made to be more of a shell that was baked and eaten out of, but not actually eaten. Recipes for Dutch apple pie (with a streusel top) can be found as far back as 1514, but it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when the lattice-crust, Granny Smith apple, sugar-sweetened pie became the American classic. If you want some variety with your pandowdy, you could have it with a slice of cheddar cheese (a New England treat), or served with a scoop of ice cream, also called “à la mode,” or “in the fashion.”
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