February 06, 2009

apple brown betty

I needed to clear out the last of the fall apples that were softening slowly in the back of the fridge, but I'm trying to hang on to this here wagon, so decided against a full-on pie. I thought I might do an oat-based crumble topping. I went looking in Joy of Cooking, found only sugary crisps, and then stumbled onto the brown betty section.

I'd heard of a brown betty, but didn't exactly know what it was; i sort of assumed it was another dumpling/biscuit-based dessert like pan dowdy, slump, buckle, grunt, and all those other names for what is essentially the same damn thing. But it WASN'T. It was a buttered breadcrumb topping. And I ask you, what is not to like about that? Not too sweet, just a little bit savory, and asking nothing of me but to chowder up the bread ends littering my fridge.

And I had a bunch of crumbs waiting around, left over from my cocktail party adventures. So I diced up the last heel of wheat bread, sprinkled on the finer crumbs, and wound up with my new favorite apple dessert. It is best warm out of the oven, though -- the crumbs sog up slightly if you let it sit. (Still good, though, I'm eating some right now.)

apple brown betty

Peel, core and thickly slice 6-8 apples (mine were smallish, i used about 8) and put them into a baking pan. My pan was 10x6 rectangle, but whatever fits will do. Sprinkle over a handful of dark brown sugar, maybe 1/4 cup, and cinnamon to your liking, I did it by eye and it was maybe 1/2 tsp to a tsp. Toss them around to coat more evenly. Smush apples down a little, then top with the crumbs. I drizzled with about 4 tbsp of melted butter, but you could probably mix the butter and crumbs directly like it said in the recipe book, and it would coat it more evenly. I used salted butter and I like the effect of the salt on this dish. Bake at 350 for 45 min to an hour, until crispy and golden brown on top and the apples are soft.

Posted by foodnerd at February 6, 2009 12:42 AM
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