This classic, homestyle baked apple dessert straddles the line between an apple crisp and apple pudding. The layers of sliced apple puff-up and mingle with the spiced breadcrumb layers, for an irresistible bite. You'll love the crunchy topping too.
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Total Time 1hour20minutes
1 quart casserole dish
FOR THE BREAD CRUMB LAYER/TOPPING:
4slicesrye bread torn into pieces (can use other types of bread such as white, wheat or crusty Italian)
1/2 cupbrown sugar
2tablespoonsall purpose flour
1/4cup cold unsalted buttercut into small cubes
FOR THE APPLES:
3largeGranny Smith applesPeeled, seeded and sliced
OPTIONAL: IF THE APPLES AREN'T VERY JUICY, YOU CAN ADD LIQUID
2-4tablespoonswateror other liquid like apple juice or cider. Can also use brandy, cognac or rum.
vanilla or butter almond ice cream
drizzle of light cream
FOR THE BREADCRUMBS:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the torn bread onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Give the bread a gentle toss and spread into a single layer. Bake for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the bread is lightly toasted and crusty.
Transfer the bread to a mini food processor and pulse several time until the bread is reduced to coarse crumbs, with some larger chunks. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, brown sugar, flour and butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the brown sugar mix until crumbly and well combined.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, granulated sugar and lemon juice. Toss to coat.
If the apples aren't very juicy, add 2-4 tablespoons of extra liquid to the apple mix. The apples will break down while baking, but having a little extra juice will add to the pudding-like quality of the brown betty. If using 1-2 tablespoons of liquor, I recommend also using 1-2 tablespoons of water, cider or juice, so it's not too alcohol-forward.
ASSEMBLE APPLE BROWN BETTY:
Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumb mixture into the bottom of a one quart baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the apple mixture. Spread 1/3 of the breadcrumb topping over the apples. Top with remaining apples followed by the remainder of the breadcrumb topping. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 400°. Continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top is crusty and browned.
Let rest for 5-10 minute before scooping into bowls and serving. Great with vanilla ice cream (or butter almond), whipped cream or a drizzle of light cream.