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Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook |
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Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook


September 30, 2013 by BettyCupcakes

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Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook |

Dessert?  On a weeknight?

Yes.  It can be done, and it doesn’t even have to be ice cream eaten straight from the carton or a smushed candy bar that you found at the bottom of your bag.

Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook |

Apple Brown Betty is a classic American dish, but it has some with deep and controversial roots. According to and What’s Cooking America, Betty was capitalized in the first written records of the dish, but the “b” in brown was written in lower case. Because this recipe appears to come from colonial America, this has left some to believe that perhaps Betty was a slave.  Others say that “brown” is referring to the color it turns when baked.

Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook |

Origins aside, Apple Brown Betty is a dessert made for a frugal, busy cook who’s looking to use what’s in their pantry.  When I first skimmed the recipe in The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, I thought it sounded like a soggy bread pudding.  The ingredients include apple cider, apples, raisins, bread, butter, and spices, but no eggs or other binders.

Upon a second reading of the recipe, I realized my mistake.  This was no ordinary bread pudding.  Apple Brown Betty is a layered dessert that, when baked, comes together to form a uniquely rich dish.
Apple Brown Betty from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook |

It is unlike anything that I have ever had before.  The buttered and brown sugar-ed baguette becomes soft and sweet, while some apple slices maintain their sturdy texture and others melt into the bread and raisins.

My husband, who claims loudly (and to anyone who will listen) that he does not like fruit for dessert, ate this with gusto.  He also had seconds and polished it off the next night.

I can attest to both it’s deliciousness and its ease of preparation.  I made this recipe, from start to finish, while allowing our toddler to “help”.  He stirred the bread to coat it in the brown sugar and butter (and snagged a few pieces to eat, too).  I also gave him the apple peels to sort between a bowl and a bread pan- anything to keep wee hands busy.

I promise: you have time for a good dessert tonight.  Just grab some apples, a baguette, and your copy of The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.  I’ll be over tonight to sample- for quality control, of course.

What’s your favorite weeknight dessert?

P.S.  If you saw my post on the Back in the Day Bakery Facebook page, hello new friend!   You can find all of my Back in the Day Bakery posts on the Stuff I Love page. I’m baking my way through the cookbook.  You can follow my adventures on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

I hope you’ll stick around and check out some of my favorite recipes like Apple Pumpkin Crisp and Irish Brown Bread. Thanks for coming by!

  • Dana says:

    This is a timely post – my family picked 45 pounds of apples this weekend. We’ll eat most of them as is, but I may have to bake a few things. This looks delicious!

    • BettyCupcakes says:

      It was so good- I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I’m still eating my 1/2 peck that I picked a few weeks ago.

  • karyl says:

    Nice post my friend. I ate that growing up. The lunch ladies made it.

  • Heather says:

    Hi Sarah. This Apple Brown Betty dessert looks amazing! Thanks for linking it up (and a couple other delicious posts) to my Sweet Wednesday Link Party!


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