Now I'm the keeper of my Nana's five recipe boxes and two recipe collections in notebooks. Nana was born in 1899 and died in 2002 so something sure gave her a lot of staying power. Whether it was the food she cooked, her zeal for propriety in all things, or her desire to see me happily married and a mother, I don't know. I sure made her wait a long time for the latter. She didn't seem to quite keep me straight with my mother by the time the boys were born, but my mother was dead by then, so whatever. It's all good.
What was I talking about? Apple pan dowdy. This recipe is typical of the many recipes I copied out the other day. It was written with a blue fountain pen in big, barely decipherable loopy script. When I find her biscuit recipe I'll publish it, but don't hold your breath. I'll probably make this with Deborah Madison's biscuit recipe. This apple pan dowdy recipe is actually from a composition book that probably dates from the early forties. Some of the entries are written in my mother's writing, a tightly controlled script that is much easier to read, written with the same kind of pen.
Answers to anticipated questions:
1. A quart is four cups.
2. A pudding dish is just a ceramic baking dish. A 1 1/2 to 2-qt. size would work.
3. I would guess this would take about 40 mins. Check at 30 mins. and if the top is too brown, cover with foil.
Nana's Apple Pan Dowdy
qt. apples, sliced
1 C light brown sugar
½ t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
4 T butter
½ C cider
Butter pudding dish and put in sliced apples. Spread sugar over apples and sprinkle spices over sugar. Dot top with butter. Add cider and cover with biscuit dough ¼ in thick. Score holes for steam to escape. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees until apples are tender and crust is well browned.