Friday, 18 November 2011

Apple Brown Betty

This is a very old, and once very popular dessert. It seems to have been pretty much forgotten in recent decades, but I do think it deserves to be revived. It's original popularity was no doubt in part because of the simplicity and affordability of the ingredients - indeed, stale bread was once not so much affordable as inevitable, although still too valuable to waste. And apples, as any Canadian knows, are ubiquitous all winter.

Most old recipes for Apple Betty seem to be a bit bland and soggy. I hope I have managed to remedy those faults with this version. Forty five minutes should make the top fairly crisp; an hour will make it quite crunchy.

Apple Betty
6 cups cubed stale toasted bread
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup Sucanat or dark brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3 large apples

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toast the bread and cut it in fairly fine cubes. Meanwhile, melt the butter. When both bread and butter are ready, put the bread cubes in an 8" x 10" shallow baking pan, and drizzle the butter over them as evenly as possible. Toss the cubes to distribute the butter even more thoroughly.

Put the Sucanat, apple cider, cinnamon and salt in a small pot and bring them to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes.

Peel and core the apples, and cut them in small pieces, of a size with the bread cubes. Lift about 2/3 of the bread cubes out of the baking dish, leaving the remaining 1/3 evenly spread over the bottom. Distribute the apples evenly over them, then top them with the removed bread cubes. Drizzle the cider mixture as evenly over the bread and apples as possible. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how brown you would like your Betty.


Jerry said...

Sorry to be ignorant but what exactly is a Sucanat and where do you buy it? Why is it better than brown sugar? Brown sugar is listed as alternative.

Ferdzy said...

Jerry, Sucanat can be bought at health food stores. It's an extremely unrefined sugar. The cane is crushed to extract the juice, which is then dried. That's it. Unlike regular sugar it has a few nutrients in it, and takes longer to digest so not quite as bad for you. It's expensive. Dark brown sugar gives similar results in terms of cooking quality.

Quick Meal Ideas said...

This is delicious meal.. i like it :)