This was based on a suggestion in an older Fannie Farmer, that one might use a gingerbread batter in place of the usual cottage pudding when making pandowdies and the like. I’d just made a regular pandowdy that had been good, but then I saw that Trader Joe’s was again offering their gingerbread mix…and I had some leftover chopped apple, and a request to bring dessert to a dinner party. Perfect!

  • Yields: 9 generous servings, 16 small
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 1/2 hour 
  • Active: 30-40 minutes 

Ingredients (7)

  • 1 cup each chopped Fuji apple and Bosc pear, plus abt. 1/2 cup raisins
  • 10 Tbs butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs rum extract, or to taste
  • 1 pkg Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Mix
  • 1 large/extra large egg
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Mix apple, pear and raisins with the rum extract. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Melt four Tbs of the butter in a 10″ skillet or Dutch oven. Spread fruit into butter, sprinkle brown sugar over evenly.
  3. Cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until fruit is softened and butter/sugar is caramelizing.
  4. Melt remaining butter, keep warm. Beat egg and water together in batter bowl, add gingerbread mix, stir in butter, stir together until thoroughly mixed.
  5. If baking in the skillet, pour batter over fruit and place in center of oven. Alternatively, you can scrape the fruit mixture into a greased 8″ × 8″ baking pan and pour the batter over that.
  6. The moist fruit will lengthen the baking time considerably from the 30 minutes given on the box. Test for doneness after 40 minutes; if still gooey, give it ten more.
  7. When cake tests done, let it sit out until just warm. Run a table knife around the edges to make sure it’s free, then invert onto a plate or platter. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream (dulce de leche is good!) or just plain cream.