Saturday, February 12, 2011

Apple Brown Betty

It’s such an old fashioned dessert.  I could not remember the last time I had it but the remains of a baguette and a few apples in the fruit bowl beckoned….

The brown betty I came up with has the best qualities of cinnamon raisin bread and apple pie filling.  It bakes up like a bread pudding but without the cream and milk so it’s a lighter dessert.  We serve it with plain yogurt, the kind with a bit of cream on top. (We’re enjoying Seven Stars Farm brand these days.)  These plain yogurts are low in sugars plus they are real food. 

This dessert serves four.  It’s nice to bake Rum Raisin Apple Brown Betty in individual ramekins so that everyone has their own.  The ramekins also provide the perfect balance of crisp cinnamon bread to warm apple filling.  If you’d like to serve this in a large casserole, choose one that is relatively shallow.  This recipe doubles and triples easily. 

Rum Raisin Apple Brown Betty
2 large apples, firm baking variety like Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold, Crispin
1 1/2 cups day old bread, 1/3-1/2" cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, divided
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-3/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter
4 oz water

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  
  2. Using half the butter, place a small pat of butter in each of the four ramekins.  
  3. In a small bowl combine bread cubes, 1/2 the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add a dash of salt and mix well using your fingers or a fork.  Set aside.
  4. Peel, core and slice the apples.  Chop the apple slices into a rough chop so that the pieces will fit nicely into the dishes.  (If using one larger baking vessel, you can leave the apples in thin slices.)  Place apples in a small bowl and add rum, vanilla, raisins,, remaining brown sugar and another dash of salt.  Mix well. 
  5. Layer half the bread mixture into the ramekins.  Divide the apple mixture in four and add to ramekins as next layer.  Top with remaining bread mixture.  Dot with bread cubes with remaining butter.  Pour an ounce of water into each ramekin.
  6. Place ramekins in a shallow baking pan and cover entire top with tin foil. If you do not have a baking or roasting pan that fits all four ramekins, you can cover and bake them individually though the larger pan makes it easier to move vessels in and out of the oven.
  7. Baked covered desserts 30 minutes at 375˚F until apples are cooked and soft.  Remove foil and cook another 10-15 minutes until betty’s are crisp on top and all the liquid is absorbed. 
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with plain yogurt, freshly whipped cream or ice cream.