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Apple Betty, often frequently referred to as Apple Brown Betty, not to be confused with the song (Whoa, black betty [bam-A-lam], Yeah black betty [bam-A-lam]), is a traditional American dessert dating back from the good ol’ colonial days when cows were going maverick in Utah and the puritans were “civilizing” the wilds of the eastern seaboard while inventing turkey dinners. It’s sort of a pudding made with apples and bread crumbs and butter (think gratin) and the usual sort of apple crisp seasoning (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, sugar).
I made mine using apples from our little orchard. What we had ready today were Mutsu apples (totally amazing apples – sad to say that I used them in a cooked dish, but at least I can say that these ones were a little scabby so less worthy of eating raw), and Fiestas – which are the gorgeous red ones in the picture. It was a fantastic sunny Fall day. After harvesting the apples, I hung out with Baby G on the front porch peeling apples in the sun while he “helped” by distributing the apple peels widely across the yard and occasionally bringing back handfuls of dog hair from P & T with which he hoped to season the dish. We had some words about that. All in all, a delightful way to spend the afternoon.
Apple Betty is really easy to make. Butter the dish, throw in some crumbs (mixed with sugar’n'spice), add half the apples (having first tossed them in some lemon juice), more crumbs, butter, orange juice (the recipe I used said apple cider but I didn’t have any so, as usual, I improvised), do it again. I drizzled some cream on top just because I had some in the fridge and felt the need to use it up. Throw it in the oven at 375 for 45-50 minutes. G and I read some stories and had a short nap in the hammock while we waited. It comes out sort of like a cross between a crisp and a pudding – a nice texture – and it is tart because the sugar isn’t mixed in with the fruit, but with the crumbs, so ice cream or sweet whipped cream is a must (darn). An additional treat is a drizzle of caramel sauce (I didn’t make any – I just think it would be good with it. P can report on this because I saw that he used some of the Smuckers variety).
It was good. I’d do it again.
p.s. I totally also too pulled a Sarah Palinism in this blog. Bonus points if you can find it (and, no, it’s not in this postscript – that would be too obvious).