apple brown betty

Remembering my Dad

I'm remembering my Dad today. Remembering the hugs and the "I love yous."

Missing him always but especially on this day, his 20th yahrzeit.

This was one of his favorite desserts.

william vail's favorite Apple Brown Betty

  •  4-5 pie apples such as Granny Smiths, Rhode Island Greenings or Golden Delicious
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups diced homestyle white bread
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the apples and remove the cores. Cut the apples into bite sized pieces. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and place them in a baking dish. Combine the bread dice, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to distribute the ingredients evenly. Place the bread mixture on top of the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty. Let cool slightly, but best when served warm.

Makes 4 servings

 

Apple Brown Betty

Last week my daughter  Gillian , her husband  Jesse  and their three kids made their annual autumn orchard visit and then baked a spectacular  Pear Brown Betty  with some of the pickings.   When I read the post on her blog it brought forth a rush of memories. This is a dish I cooked when I was a young mother and my daughters were still living at home. Except I always made it with apples. Everyone in the family loved it.  It was a dish my mother made. Everyone in our family loved it.  Brown Betty. So simple. The fragrance, the warmth in the kitchen, the memories of my girls waiting patiently for a bite of dessert while they watched Mr. Rogers. Of my Dad humming with every forkful.  This is more than dessert. It’s a feeling of security. That all is well.  Try it, you’ll see.     Apple Brown Betty     5-6 apples  2 tablespoons lemon juice  4 cups diced homestyle bread  3/4 cup brown sugar  1/2 cup melted butter  3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg  pinch of salt      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the apples and remove the cores. Cut the apples into bite sized pieces. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples. Place the apples in a baking dish. Combine the bread dice, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to coat the bread completely. Put the coated bread on top of the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty. Let cool slightly, but serve warm, preferably topped with vanilla ice cream. Makes 6 servings   *Note here: my husband likes this COLD, doused with sweet cream

Last week my daughter Gillian, her husband Jesse and their three kids made their annual autumn orchard visit and then baked a spectacular Pear Brown Betty with some of the pickings. 

When I read the post on her blog it brought forth a rush of memories. This is a dish I cooked when I was a young mother and my daughters were still living at home. Except I always made it with apples. Everyone in the family loved it.

It was a dish my mother made. Everyone in our family loved it.

Brown Betty. So simple. The fragrance, the warmth in the kitchen, the memories of my girls waiting patiently for a bite of dessert while they watched Mr. Rogers. Of my Dad humming with every forkful.

This is more than dessert. It’s a feeling of security. That all is well.

Try it, you’ll see.

 

Apple Brown Betty

 

5-6 apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 cups diced homestyle bread

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg

pinch of salt

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the apples and remove the cores. Cut the apples into bite sized pieces. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples. Place the apples in a baking dish. Combine the bread dice, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to coat the bread completely. Put the coated bread on top of the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty. Let cool slightly, but serve warm, preferably topped with vanilla ice cream. Makes 6 servings

*Note here: my husband likes this COLD, doused with sweet cream

Apples?

Hi - we went apple picking this past weekend but we didn’t pick greenings. The orchard had cortland, empire, fuji and gala. Of course they are all mixed up now and we don’t know which is which. Can you bake apple brown Betty with apples other than greenings? If so, what changes?

Submitted by Gillyf (Gillian@redfive.com)

Yes, of course you can use almost any kind of apples, except, I would say, Red Delicious, which are truly flavorless and in any event, don’t bake well. It might be a good idea to use a variety of apples, that would give it a nice flavor. The apples you picked are a bit sweeter than Greenings, so, if you like sweet desserts I would say don’t change anything about the recipe. But you could also cut down the brown sugar by a tablespoon or two.

IN addition, different apples soften (or not) differently, so the texture of these, when cooked, may be firmer than Greenings. No matter. Granny Smiths stay firm too and the dessert is still wonderful.

Guess what I am saying is that this is a very forgiving recipe, as is apple pie. Use whatever you have, try different apples each time and you’ll taste the difference as well as feel the different texture, but it will all still be delicious.

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

http://bit.ly/cZfWbY.

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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