Apple Brown Betty is a classic American dessert featuring fresh baked apples seasoned with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with an irresistible crunchy crumb topping. A fall favorite!
If you're looking for fall dessert ideas, look no further than this fast and easy homemade Apple Brown Betty. Served warm and ala mode, it's nothing short of dessert heaven!
The origin of this recipe dates back to the mid 1800's, and is very similar to an apple crisp. the difference is that an apple crisp topping is made with oats, and the Apple Brown Betty is oat-free. I am not a big fan of oats in desserts. They taste mealy to me, so I make this Brown Betty instead.
How to Choose The Right Apples
Apple Brown Betty is sweetened with sugar, therefore I prefer an apple on the tart side to offset the sweetness. I recommend Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady for the best combination of flavors. Red Delicious are too sweet and the gritty texture isn't as appealing in this dessert.
Ingredients for Apple Brown Betty
Here's what you'll need to make this classic Apple Brown Betty:
- Orange Juice
- All purpose flour
How To Make Old Fashioned Brown Betty
- Peel and slice three apples, and place them in the bottom of a pie dish. Cover with ¼ cup of orange juice.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cut the butter into the mixture until it forms crumbs.
3. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples in the pie dish.
4. In a preheated 375 degree oven, bake for 45 minutes or until top is browned and sides are bubbling.
5. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, then serve in bowls or parfait glasses. Garnish with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a cinnamon stick for a beautiful presentation!
Helpful Hints for Making this Rustic Apple Dessert
- To peel, slice and core the apples quickly and easily, try an apple peeling tool. It will render uniformly sliced apples for even cooking. I use this for all my baked apple desserts!
- Use very cold butter to cut into the flour mixture. Cutting in the cold butter is what forms the crumbs -- warm butter will flatten, which you don't want.
- Fork test the apples before you remove them from the oven -- they should be tender without being mushy.
- Add ½ teaspoon allspice to the flour mixture if you'd like to spice it up a little more.
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Apple Brown Betty: An Orchard to Oven Treat
- 3 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and sliced
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup butter cold and diced into cubes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter. Distribute peeled & sliced apples evenly in the pie plate.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt.
- Place cubes of butter in the mixing bowl and cut in with a sharp knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top of the apples in the pie pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and sides are bubbling. Test the apples with a knife to ensure they are tender. They should be tender without being mushy.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Add ½ teaspoon of allspice to the flour mixture for a more spicy flavor.
- Use ¾ cup granulated sugar and ¼ brown sugar for the 1 cup of granulated sugar. Brown sugar will add a deeper flavor to the dessert.
- Use lemon juice or apple cider in place of orange juice on the apples.