John Adams Apple Pan Dopwdy
To make the pastry: Sift 1 1/2 cups flour with a dash of salt. Blend in 1/2 cup shortening until the mixture is mealy. Sprinkle a little ice water over the mixture, just enough to hold the dough together. Roll the pastry out, brush with 1/4 cup melted butter, and cut pastry in half. Place the halves on top of each other and cut again. Repeat until you have 16 separate but equal pieces of pastry piled on top of each other, then chill them a full hour. Roll the pastry once again, cut in half, and line the bottom of the baking dish with one half. Save the other half for the top. Keep both on ice while making the filling.
To make the filling: Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Peel and core 10 large apples. Cut then into thin slices. Mix the apples with sugar-spice mixture and place in pastry-lined dish. Combine 1/2 cup molasses (or maple syrup) with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup water. Pour this over the apples. Cover with the top pastry layer and seal. Place in a preheated hot (400 degree F.) oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low (325 degrees F.). After reducing the heat, "dowdy" the dish by cutting the crust into the apples with a sharp knife. Return dish to oven and bake a full hour. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or with heavy cream or whipped cream.
---Presidents' Cookbook (p. 51-52)
Pairs Well With
Apples, like molasses, were a standby in New England Desserts. John Adams showed his preference for Apple Pan Dowdy by having it on Independence Day...
I especially like this is your top crust doesn't roll out so well!