Salted Spicy Watermelon Margarita Popsicles.
Extra juicy and oh so doughy, Skillet Blueberry Bourbon Pandowdy…with flaky puff pastry “stars” for a festive July 4th twist. Every bite is layered with fresh blueberries, sweet cherries, and hints of warming bourbon. This classic Pandowdy pie is topped with a buttery flaky puff pastry and cream. It’s so pretty, super simple to make, and you can swap out the blueberries for any berry you love. Or simply use a mix of all your favorites. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a festive (and delicious) red, white, and blue dessert to celebrate July 4th…and any other summer occasion to follow.
Well, hey, hi, and happy Friday to you all!
It’s been such a full week of busy, non-stop days, so I’m happy that Friday is here. But honestly, it’s mostly because I’m excited to share this recipe. And to hopefully watch you make it over the weekend on Instagram. Have I mentioned to you guys that my very favorite thing about any social media platform is being able to connect with you all so closely? Watching everyone recreate recipes on their own Instagram accounts keeps me going day in and day out. I love seeing how excited you all are to recreate HBH recipes!
It’s so much fun, and definitely the best part of my job. So thank you all for being so awesome!
My hope is that you all bake this one up over the weekend in preparation for July 4th next Saturday. We all need to “test” our recipes, so this is the weekend to do it! And you guys…this blueberry bourbon pandowdy? It’s truly one of my favorite recipes. I love a pandowdy more than any other pie or cobbler…which a pandowdy is basically a cross between. But a pandowdy has the most delicious and unique crust. I have a peach pandowdy in the HBH Super Simple Cookbook, but this is my first berry pandowdy…and it’s now my favorite.
Oh so GOOD…and very festive!
For those of you who don’t know what a pandowdy is, let me tell you.
To put it simply, traditionally it’s an apple-filled pie, baked in a skillet with cut up pieces of dough over top of the apples, instead of one whole pie crust. The idea is that the dough sinks into the apples while baking and in turn becomes very “doughy”. Think of a pandowdy as an apple pie, but with a lot more sauce (that’s sweet and caramelized, almost caramel-like) and a crust that is beyond perfect.
It. Is. Incredible.
Me being me, I switched things up a bit, swapping out the apples for summer blueberries and sweet July cherries.
Start with the crust. It’s traditional to use regular pie dough, but I wanted to keep this simple as can be, so I used puff pastry. I love puff pastry more than you know. I’ve said this before, but I always keep puff pastry in my freezer. Always. It lasts forever and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. It’s one of my favorite “freezer staples” along with frozen berries.
Roll the pastry out and cut it into stars. You can do two to three different size stars, as I’ve done, or you can simply use regular-size star cutouts. Either works great and will give you a very festive July 4th pandowdy.
Alternately, if you don’t want to make stars, you can just cut the dough into large squares. That’s great too!
Now place the cut-outs in the freezer to stay chilled.
Next, in a cast iron skillet, toss together the filling. It’s a simple mix of blueberries, cherries, cornstarch, bourbon, and lemon. I used honey for sweetness and also threw in a little lemon thyme from the garden…because I am obsessed with the combination of lemon thyme and blueberries.
If you don’t have a skillet, use a rectangle baking dish or a deep pie plate of similar size.
At this point, layer the chilled stars over the filling, leaving a few gaps so that the berries and cherries are peaking out. Brush the top with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar.
Again, be sure to leave those gaps between the stars and the filling. The gaps between the stars will help to create a sweet sauce that slowly seeps up and over some of the pastry, which in turn causes parts of the pastry to caramelize while other parts remain softer and “doughier”.
And now you bake.
The final step of this recipe is to spoon cream over top of the pandowdy just before it’s done baking. This creates more of a custard-like pie and makes this recipe better than any other pandowdy. I learned about this method from Food 52 and will never make a pandowdy any other way.
The cream topping is KEY and essential.
The directions might sound kind of odd, and you might even be a little confused. But just follow them. Even if you start to wonder if you’re really doing it right…and all will be good.
So, pour the cream over the stars and then bake another few minutes to “set” the cream.
When the pandowdy comes out of the oven, the sauce will be bubbling up over the crust. The smell is going to make you want to dig right in…and you should! But with ice cream, of course.
And be sure to spoon that dark red-purple sauce that’s left in the skillet over top. So. Very. Good. Every bite is bursting with sweet blueberries, juicy cherries, and hinted with bourbon + lemon thyme.
One, there is a LOT of sauce. This is not your average pie with very little sauce. This pandowdy is saucy – and that’s the best part. It’s looser than a caramel, but yet it’s caramelized, sweet, and so full of wonderful flavors. If you would like a slightly thicker sauce, you can use more cornstarch to thicken it up.
And two, you might need to cover the pandowdy with foil towards the end of baking to prevent the pastry from burning. You want the top of the pandowdy to get pretty dark golden brown. But during the last fifteen minutes, I found I needed to cover the edges to stop it from turning black all over. Just be sure to keep an eye on it while baking!
So, who’s making this sweet skillet blueberry bourbon pandowdy with me this weekend?? I’m ready…and the ice cream is in the freezer!
Looking for other 4th Of July dessert recipes? Here are some favorites:
Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake
Browned Butter Grilled Peaches
Strawberry Bourbon Cobbler with Layered cream Cheese Biscuits
Lastly, if you make this skillet blueberry bourbon pandowdy, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Not worth it.
Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed, please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan
Love the pictures… People confuse cobblers, buckles, and pandowdy. This is a great example so people know the difference. It’s so pretty….
Thanks so much Tracy! xTieghan
Hi! Would you put the tinfoil around the entirety of the skillet or just the edges? Looking forward to making this!!!
You would add the foil to just the edges or the entire skillet depending on how your oven works. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
This was amazing and easy to make. So pretty with the stars.
Love that! Thank you Audra! xTieghan
Hi there! You’re recipes are always fantastic! I am excited to make this one tomorrow! If I want to use only blueberries, do I use 8C of blueberries instead of 5C blueberries and 3C cherries or do I still only need 5C. Is there another fruit you would recommend combining with the blueberries in place of cherries? Thanks
I would do 8 cups of blueberries. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Baked this for 4th of July. I used 2tbsp cornstarch, increased the baking time by about 10 min and the sauce was still incredibly thin & watery. Super bummed considering I spent $30 just on the fruit to make this. Might need to tweak your recipe.
Hi Jessica! I am sorry this did not turn out well for you. Is there anything you could have done differently? xTieghan
I made this for the 4th of July. Not only was it DELICIOUS, it was festive for the holiday. Even the leftovers are delicious!
I am really glad this turned out so well for you, Donna! Thank you so much for trying it! xTieghan
I made this with just cherries, and it was delicious!
Thank you so much Heidi!! I am really happy to hear that! xTieghan
I’ve recommended your website and cookbooks to so many people and am about to give this a go for the Fourth!! Thanks for all the great content and posts 🙂 last year I launched my own blog, I’m a fitness and health nut but I adore cooking. As of today I released my first ever ebook with workouts + recipes. But it’s reading sites like yours and skimming your cookbooks all the time that gives me inspiration. So thank you!!
Aw that is so exciting!! I hope the ebook is going amazing, Emily! So happy I could be a source of inspiration for you! xTieghan
Looks great! Just picked a frig full of Blueberries, I want to make this with an all butter pastry crust, maybe with w. wheat flour. Do you think it would change the cooking time or temperature, my local sources of puff have palm oil, so that’s a big No for me.
I think that would be just fine for you to do! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx
Sounds delivious. Shouldn’t you butter the cast iron pan. Thinking it might be a mess to clean. Thanks. Making today.
I don’t find that necessary, but you can if you want. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan