My Father's Favorite Apple Brown Betty


I bought so many Rhode Island Greening apples from a local farm (42 pounds — the last of their supply for the season) that this year I’m going to use them not only for my usual 12 pies (which I make, bake and freeze in order to have one pie each month until next year rolls around) but for some other goodies too.

I love the smell of apples baking. It’s a nurturing aroma that makes me feel warm and safe even as the days get darker sooner and there’s a chill in the air outside.

I need 36 pounds for the pies, so, what else?

Apple Brown Betty, of course! I just read that today is National Apple Brown Betty Day

Apple Brown Betty was my Dad’s favorite dessert and my mother had several different recipes for it. None better (or easier) than this one:

Apple Brown Betty

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 5-6 pie apples (such as Rhode Island Greenings, Granny Smith)

  • half a lemon

  • 4 cups diced homestyle white bread

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter and set it aside. Peel, core and cut the apples into bite size pieces, placing them in a baking dish (1-1/2 quart). Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples and toss the fruit to coat it with the juice. Place the bread, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in the butter and toss ingredients again to coat the bread with the butter. Arrange the buttered bread mixture over the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is browned and crispy. Let cool slightly but serve warm.

Makes 6 servings

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