Ingredients for Desserts:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 pounds Pink Lady and/or Granny Smith apples
- ⅔ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- 1 ½-inch piece ginger
- 1 package frozen puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed by covering pastry sheet with plastic and leaving at room temperature 30 minutes
- Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cook 6 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling often, until bubbling and golden, about 5 minutes; set aside.
2. Prepare your apples: Using a vegetable peeler, remove peel from apples. Stand them upright and slice down along core, working all the way around to remove big lobes of flesh. Cut lobes lengthwise into 1″ pieces (irregular shapes are fine). Discard peel and cores. Transfer apples to a large bowl.
3. Add ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, 3 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and ½ tsp. salt to bowl with apples.
4. Using a microplane or fine rasp grater, grate zest of ½ lemon over apples. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice from zested half over apples, catching any seeds. Using peeler, remove peel from ginger, then grate over apples.
5. Toss apple mixture until combined, then transfer to a shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Drizzle all but 2 Tbsp. brown butter over apples.
6. Dust cutting board with a light coating of flour and unfold puff pastry on floured surface. Dust top with flour. Cut puff pastry into irregular 1″ pieces (any shape is fine).
7. Arrange pieces of puff pastry over apples, overlapping but spreading to cover almost completely. Brush pastry with remaining brown butter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
8. Bake pandowdy until pastry is puffed and golden around edges, 25–30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake until juices are thick and bubbling and pastry is brown all over, 30–35 minutes longer.
9. Using a spoon, press pastry down into warm juices (but don’t submerge); let cool slightly.
10. Serve pandowdy warm with ice cream.