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 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; 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

pebbles. First: (my adaptation; cut the second portion of the chilled butter into small pieces, and sprinkle over the apple mixture, then sprinkle the second portion of the brown sugar, which is also 1/4 cups)

Now, sprinkle the flour, butter, and the brown sugar evenly over the top, and bake bake for 35 to 45 minutes untill
brown and bubbly. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers, and can easily be re-heated in the microwave. About 6 serv.

Now, I want to share some really great 'thrift find' with you. I was about to order a part for my ice cream maker which is at least 10yrs old...the plastic lid broke, and I may not even find a replacement for it, when I came upon a brand new ice cream maker, by Krups...the only thing that is missing is the instruction booklet, which is available online, and also recipes, as well!

I am so super excited about this electric ice cream maker...$5.50 at Goodwill Industries! You may not always find it at this price. I would have to pay at least $19.99 just for my lid replacement for my old one, and this model is only a couple years old! Probably retails close to $59.99
Also found out online, that you have to cover the container in plastic, when freezing it. My old one just sits in the freezer, I will have to dispose of it! I didn't make my own homemade vanilla ice cream, but I'm looking forward to making my own for the holidays.

One more thing...just an update of our beach erosion, and how it looks now!
We lost at least 10 ft or longer of our beach...still, with a 5 ft. drop-down

Looks like a giant 'spider creature'...just sum branches from a sea plant
branches are embedded in the sand of what may look like some 'creepy-crawly'...yikes!

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  1. this looks so good and nice to learn about the history as a Brit I haven't heard of it

  2. Elisabeth, I was all eyes when I saw that picture of your Apple Brown Betty with a scoop of ice-cream on top! Irresistible!

  3. I have again come here to learn something interesting and then get mesmerized by the delicious photos! One of my sons favorite of all time.. he will love love love this recipe.. going to have to save for after the crazy Retail rush holiday! Glad you stayed on board with us.. you would have been missed and this is another reason why awesome recipe!

  4. Delicious apple betty. Love that click with icecream on the top. I will try some time. Hope you already made thanksgiving plans.

  5. It's fun to hear the history of recipes, especially this one! I used to love it when my mom made apple brown "Betty." The bread used in this one is new to me, but it sounds wonderful. :)

  6. The photo with the ice cream! It looks so delicious.

  7. I'm drooling! I love gooey desserts! What a great idea using bread ... definitely will try this out!

  8. The ice cream maker for $5.5...that's a good find, Eli.
    The apple brown betty looks super comforting! I thought it's an apple recipe created by someone called "Betty".

  9. I have never made a Brown Betty before...but this is something my whole family would love! Beautifully done, my friend!

  10. I think Apple Brown Betty is one of those sentimental desserts for me. My mom used to make it when I was a kid and I thought it was the best thing ever! Yours looks wonderful and I just happen to have a loaf or day old, or so bread! YUM!

  11. Looks delicious Elisabeth. Oh and what a find you have there!

  12. Hi Elisabeth, 'apple crisp' (as my mom always called it) is a real favourite of my family - it doesn't last long and you can never seem to make enough! I've never made it without oatmeal; day-old bread is an interesting variation and I can imagine that it would indeed give it a bread pudding effect. Lucky you for scoring an ice cream maker - looks to be in mint condition and the price is right :)

  13. Mouth watering...even this early in the morning :)

  14. thank you for featuring a great British dessert!! this looks SO delicious and with the ice cream - YUM!
    Mary x

  15. Elisabeth,

    Your Brown Betty looks so good. I have always made Apple Crisp with oatmeal, but now I have to try this one. My hubby likes bread pudding, so I'll make it for him. Thanks for sharing the history behind the dish!

  16. Drága Elisabeth, elnézésedet kérem, hogy már régen kommenteltem nálad, de valahogy teljesen elvagyok veszve, na de most pótolom. Mennyi finom lehetett ez az almás brown azzal a gombóc fagyival a tetején. Bizony most pont egy ilyen finomság után vágyakozom. Klassz fagyi gépet vettél, most aztán indulhat a fagyi készítés. Az unokáid biztosan örülnek majd, és szívesen kanalazzák a sok finomságot. Csodaszép képeket tettél fel, és valóban mintha egy nagy pók lába kandikálna ki a homokból.
    Szép hétvégét kívánok az egész családnak. Puszillak

  17. Hi Elisabeth, your Brown Betty looks delicious!!!I go bonkers over apple desserts and, if I had the bread, I would make it with no second thought!! I suppose it will have to wait, for now I just copied the recipe..Have a great weekend, XOXO

  18. Wishing you and your family a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you soon!
    Miz Helen

  19. Brown betty looks fabulous, an excellent dessert. I can have some with few scoops of vanilla icecream.

  20. Brown Betty is a good dessert, very comforting. I love thrift stores, they have some treasures. I found one recently too, come see it. And the price was just right. :)

  21. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

  22. What an amusing name for this apple cake! I think I have already heard about it somewhere though, but of course I had no idea what it looked like not to mention tasting it. It looks easy, deliciously caramelised and very tempting. The name makes it even more intriguing.
    What a great thrift find! I don't have an ice-cream maker (first I would have to change my freezer or rather buy a normally sized one...) and plan to buy it every summer (together with a freezer of course ;-) ).

  23. What a delicious history lesson! Thank you.

  24. Your apple brown betty looks perfect with a scoop of ice cream -- making me rethink pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  25. I remember watching an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown explained the different pie variations including the brown betty. Yours looks great...especially with the ice cream!

  26. I've never tried a "brown betty". Here in New Zealand "crumble" is more traditional. Still I'd love to try this, though right now I'd probably try this with strawberries, which are more seasonal at the moment than apples. Be great I imagine with stone fruit too, which are just around the corner.

  27. 1st time here.. this looks lovely! love all your recipes :)

  28. Csodás ez a desszert, még nem hallottam eddig róla, az amerikai konyháról nem sokat tudok :)
    Szeretem a gyümölcsös dolgokat, én még a tiramisut is gyümölccsel készítem.

  29. Apple brown Betty, this looks delicious! Crumbly and sticky perfect with ice cream like you suggested! Here in the UK we would add thick full fat double cream (so many calories...I know!)

  30. Elizabeth, Apple Betty is one of my favorite desserts…my mother-in-law always made it! And lucky you finding such a great item at Goodwill!

  31. Hi Elisabeth, I envy your ice cream maker from thrift find, such a good bargain. Extra new toys in your kitchen. Looking forward to see you making caramel coffee ice cream. :)

    Love your Apple brown serve with ice cream, I love, love the second picture it look awesome and so delectable. Save that for me, please! LOL
    And the white plate, very elegant and beautiful.

    Thanks for the beach pictures, what a pity. The natural beauty is swept off by the recent bad storm.

    Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe. Have a fabulous week ahead. Hugs and kisses to you.

  32. i never heard of brown betty but the sound of apples baking in cinamon and bread in molasses sounds good. gosh, all the while I thought that betty crocker is someone real!

  33. This looks so good, it's been how many years since I made a Brown Betty...I can't even remember but it is a fun recipe to make and delicious as can be ;-)

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  35. You do find the greatest things at thrift stores and you do make a mean Apple Brown Betty!

  36. The original bottom post showed up, and that's my opinion as well!