As we wind up our month of defining, testing and tasting our fruit desserts – which Streusel kindly laid out the differences in her last post – I thought I’d go vintage for my final recipe on this topic and make a fall-friendly Apple Betty.
“What’s a Betty?” You (and I) ask. Also, we’re probably filled with curiosity about whether or not we should make it. Happily, after some experimenting this month, I can provide answers to both questions!
Firstly – a Betty is a fruit dessert layered between bread crumbs or bread cubes, with plenty of butter to make the layers crisp and delicious. It falls more in line with a fruit crisp, but without the oat topping (and with the bread crumbs serving that purpose instead).
Is it worth our baking time and energy? Yes! It absolutely is. You can ask my husband, who piled on some ice cream and then gobbled 3/4 of it about 12 seconds after it came out of the oven.
It’s apple time here in the US, and certainly there’s no shortage here in Washington State. I chose Granny Smith apples for this recipe, since I wanted a firmer apple that would hold up under the shower of crispy breadcrumbs – but I’m sure any varietal will taste great.
For the bread in the recipe, I’d used some I found in the freezer (leftover bread from this post) but any mildly-flavored bread will do just fine.
4–6 large apples, such as granny smith, peeled, cored, and sliced into fairly thick wedges
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375.
Spread the bread cubes on an oven-safe pan, and place in toaster oven. Toast cubes until lightly browned and golden. Remove, transfer to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Pour the bread crumbs in to a bowl, mix with melted butter and granulated sugar.
Toss apple slices with lemon juice and set aside.
In a 3rdbowl, mix brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.
Butter or grease the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Add half the apples, then top with an even layer of 1/2 the brown sugar mixture and 1/2 the bread crumbs. Repeat, using up the ingredients and ending on the bread crumbs.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown and apples are tender.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.