WHO: EmilyC is an environmental scientist and consultant who always has a stash of chocolate in her Washington D.C. pantry.
WHAT: Meet pandowdy, pie's less beautiful -- but more laid-back -- cousin.
HOW: Make filling in a cast-iron skillet, blanket it with dough, and stick it in the oven. When your creation looks perfect, take a sharp knife to it. Your regrets will subside 30 minutes later, when you see the juice bubbling up through the vents, bathing your crust.
WHY WE LOVE IT: How do we love thee, pandowdy? Let us count the ways. We love your bubbling, not-too-sweet fruit filling. We love your perfectly flaky, cookie-like crust that comes together without much fuss. And oh how we love that, once we've polished off the whole thing, there's only one pan to clean.
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Start in a skillet -- you'll end in one, too.
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First up, make the pie dough.
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After the flour and butter looks like this, add water by the tablespoon.
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Turn it out into a long rectangular log -- you're about to become a pastry chef.
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Now using the heel of your hand, smear a sixth of the dough away from you -- this will create long streaks of butter -- and repeat.
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Gather your masterpiece back into a disk, and chill.
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You should obviously start the filling with browned butter.
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Add the fruit -- any fruit, but we think this is a winning combination.
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And the rest of the filling ingredients follow suit.
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Are you ready to finish this thing?
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Roll your dough out, working quickly.
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And then transport it to the skillet by draping it around the rolling pin.
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Lay it over the top of the filling, pressing down around the edges.
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Trim, if you're a perfectionist.
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A quick egg wash will make this even prettier.
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Sprinkle some sugar!
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Some air vents for good measure (don't worry -- you'll be adding a lot more later).
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Halfway through the cooking, you get to dowdy your pan! Go ahead, mess up your pie.
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