Apple Brown Betty
October 5: National Apple Betty Day
We like to eat fruit pies and cobblers for a down-home dessert on occasion. So when we have a hankering for something similar yet simple, we bake a Brown Betty with a fall fruit: apples. The dessert is nothing fancy—just fulfilling for our sweet tooth. And the ingredients are most likely in our pantry already, which makes a Brown Betty a cooking convenience.
Apple Brown Betty was a favorite of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, when they lived in the White House (1980s). It is also sweet enough to serve in our humble house.
For an All-American autumn treat, bake an Apple Brown Betty for National Apple Betty Day.
(Adapted from Gourmet)
- 3 cups coarse bread crumbs (French bread or baguette)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided use
- 4 large apples (Granny Smith or Gala)
- 1 ¼ cups water
Coarsely grate or finely chop slices of bread to make crumbs. In a saucepan, melt the butter slowly then remove from heat. Mix in the cinnamon, salt and one tablespoon of brown sugar.
Stir in the breadcrumbs and mix well. Sprinkle about a cup of crumb mixture over the bottom of a 1-quart baking dish or casserole.
Meanwhile, peel the apples. Coarsely chop two of the apples. Cut the other two apples into ¼-inch thick wedges.
Cook the coarsely chopped apples with the water and two tablespoons of brown sugar over medium heat in a covered saucepan. Stir occasionally. Puree the cooked apples with the liquid. Arrange the other apple wedges over the breadcrumb layer in the baking dish or casserole.
Pour the pureed apples over the wedges. Cover the top layer with the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot with whipped or ice cream.
- Prevent cut apples from browning by soaking them in water or sprinkling with a little lemon juice. Drain well before using in the recipe.
- Search our blog for fruit pie and cobbler recipes.