Friday, September 9, 2011

Apple Brown Betty

Recently, I asked all our Country Cook readers to let me know which dessert they would like to see me make from Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Big Book of HomecookingThe winner is the recipe you are seeing today ~ Apple Brown Betty. To be fair, I had never actually made this dessert before. I knew what an Apple Brown Betty was but I had never actually attempted to make this historical dessert. If you have not tried or made Apple Brown Betty before and you are expecting it to be just another version of apple pie, well, it's not. It's pretty unique!
This is as rustic and as homestyle as you can get. Pieces of crusty bread, melted butter, apples and cinnamon all come together to make a homey and old-fashioned dessert. It isn't overly sweet, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to ice cream or whipped cream. As you prepare this, you will feel a sense of timelessness making this dish. It's like you've stepped back into Colonial times as you slice the apples and toast the bread. It's a humble dish that I think apple lovers will truly appreciate. I did make some Cook's Notes at the end of the recipe.
8 slices white bread, torn
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, divided
2 1/2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Place bread slices in a 15"x10" jelly-roll pan.  I just used my large sheet pan. 
If you have small cookie sheets, you may need to use two pans.
The directions did not say how small or big to tear the bread pieces. I cut mine into one inch cubes but you may prefer to chop your pieces up a bit smaller.
Bake at 400F degrees for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish or 9x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 
Combine melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and bread in a medium bowl; toss gently until moistened.
In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, nutmeg and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Place 1/2 cup bread pieces in a casserole dish.
Top with half the apple mixture. Layer with one cup bread pieces and remaining apple mixture.
Toss remaining bread over apple mixture.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Cook's Note: The next time I make this, I think I will use a baking dish as opposed to a casserole dish. I think it would make it easier to serve. Also, next time I will probably chop the bread up into much smaller pieces. I think it will help with the overall texture. The taste was fantastic!

Don't forget to check out the other recipes I have reviewed from this book:



  1. That looks terrific! Their cookbooks are just awesome :)

  2. I have never made Apple Betty either, but anything with apples and cinnamon is a winner in my book!

  3. I have never heard of this Brandie, but it sure does look like a treat!! I have always been a fan of desserts with apples in them! Have a great weekend lady!

  4. I would love to give this recipe a try. Cinnamon and apples are a flavor combination my family goes crazy over. I know we'd love this. Have a great weekend!

  5. Brandie -- this is such a classic dessert and your version is wonderful -- so autumnal :)


  6. That looks so yummy. Great minds think alike! We have apple recipes all month.

  7. I've never had this before, but it looks really yummy! Anything with baked apples has got to be a winner!!

  8. Such a funny name for a dish. I’ve actually never heard of it. It looks like a bread/apple casserole =)

  9. I have never heard of this, apparently I have been missing out! Looks wonderful!

  10. I have never heard of brown betty! It sounds delish! Perfect dessert for this time of year!!

  11. I've been looking into these old-fashioned desserts and have heard of a Brown Betty but had no idea this is how they were made. I HAVE to try this!

  12. I have never made Apple Betty. I love the ingredients. Tasty!

  13. I love the step-by-step photos, and the end result looks delicious! This dish is one of my all time comfort foods!

  14. Just in case you missed it, we wanted to share the link from Friday...

    This yummy recipe was part of our bloggy tour...thanks for sharing it! :)

  15. This is one of my very favorite desserts! I don't toast the bread though, I like it to be gooeyier and toasted bread doesn't do that for me! I also use my salad chopper to finely shred my apple into potato chip like slices, it is quick and helps everything come together in this recipe. Thank you so much for reminding me of it - it has been TOO long since I made it!


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