Showing posts with label Oxford Companion To Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oxford Companion To Food. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{My Best}...Apple Brown Betty


Betty or Brown Betty - A Betty consist of a fruit, most commonly apples, baked between layers of buttered crumbs. Betties are an English pudding dessert closely related to the French apple charlotte. Betty was a popular baked pudding made during colonial times in America.
According to The Oxford Companion To Food, by Alan Davison:
The name seems to have first appeared in print in 1864, when an article in the Yale Literary Magazine listed it (in quotation marks, implying that it was not then a fully established term) with tea, coffee, and pies as things to be given up during 'training'. That author gave brown in lower case and Betty in upper case: and, in default of evidence to the contrary, it seems best to go along with the view that Betty is here a proper name.
According to The American History Cookbook, by Mark H. Zanger:
Brown Betty (1890) - This recipe was part of the winning essay for the $500 American Public health Association Lomb prize on practical, Sanitary, and Economic Cooking Adapted to persons of Moderate and Small Means, which became a book of the same title by Mrs. Mary Hinman Abel. It was part of a series of menus to feed a family on thirteen cents a day. Mrs. Abel may have carried the recipe into use the the New England Kitchen, an experimental Boston restaurant aimed at "improving" the food choices of the poor. check the link; What's Cooking in America/History
I've often wondered where did the name 'Apple Brown Betty' come from?...I've always known that this simple and quick comforting dessert has a great American history, and I was right...although I have not done any research on it, I just assumed that it has to do with perhaps the same name as 'Betty Crocker'...which is a fictitious name that was given to the famous American cookbook back in the early 1940's!

This dessert, among the 'Cobbler' the 'Crisps', the 'Crumble', and the 'Buckle' is an unmistakeably origins in Colonial American cooking.
Although the earliest date recorded in print, was 1864, the first recipe appeared in 1890. America should be proud to have such an early culinary history, which were developed by our early settlers from England...so how about that?

Linking to: Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop @ Katherines Corner 
                 Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage


As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I start to pull out my treasured Thanksgiving and Christmas issues of Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Cooking Light. Over the years I saved a huge stack of these favorites, but have drastically narrowed them down.

I have only about 10 various holiday issues now. I have a Bon Appetit November 1983 issue which I treasure so much because of the unusual Roast Turkey called, 'Roast Turkey with Cornmeal' consists of spreading cornmeal and butter under the skin to crisp the skin...also has a 'Wild Mushroom Dressing'...'Brussel Sprouts with Mustard Seeds'...'Native American Cranberry Sauce' that consists of pure maple syrup, ground ginger, and lots of fresh cranberries. I have made this entire recipe, back then, and had success with it, but have not made it since....perhaps, now is the time to make it again!
I'll be totally honest with you, my friends and (readers)...this is the best Apple Betty I have made in a long time...some people 'jazz' it up with oats, or lots of streusel, but I'll tell you; it's not needed. You just make sure you have 5...apples. They could be sweet; as well, or mix the tart and the sweet. I used Rome apples!

The secret in this amazing Apple Betty is the the French or the Italian day, or so, old bread that you soak in the milk, which is mixed with the sliced apple to give it the pudding effect...then you add your strews for the top! If you use margarine instead of butter, and use almond milk in place of dairy milk...then you can make this yummy dessert; VEGAN...no eggs required in this recipe! Serve it hot, with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream...I used Edy's Vanilla...yumm!

Apple Brown Betty
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, 2007 issue
-original recipe by; Lia Huber

2 cups sliced peeled Granny apples
2 cups sliced peeled Rome apples
(I used all Rome apples)*
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 Tablespoon mollases
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces day old French or Italian bread
torn into 1/2 inch pieces
(I used 6 ounces)*
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
(I used 3/4 cup)*
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
(I used 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)*
1/4 cup chilled butter cut into small pieces
I used 1 stick (4 oz.=113 g.) sweet-unsalted butter)


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sliced apples in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Combine milk with the molasses and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the bread mixture; toss to combine.
Add bread mixture to apple mixture; toss to combine. Spoon mixture into an 8 inch pan, coated with
cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flour into a small bowl, combine with brown sugar (1/4 cup) and half the amount (1/4 cup)'
of the chilled butter, cut into small pieces, using a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles small