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Easy Apple Brown Betty Recipe | Old-Fashioned Dessert

Do you ever crave that old-fashioned apple dessert that brings back memories of Grandma’s kitchen? If so, you’ll love this easy Apple Brown Betty recipe that’s much faster to make. This classic dessert combines sweet, diced apples with a buttery sweet bread topping that bakes perfectly. Top it with vanilla ice cream or sweetened cream and it’s the ultimate comfort food and one of my all-time favorites.

Finished Apple Brown Betty dessert in a cast iron pan.

With only a few simple ingredients, this easy recipe is a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, get ready to enjoy the warm and inviting flavors of fall with this timeless treat. Or mix and match the fruit filling and you can make this any time of year with whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand.

Why I Love This Recipe

Here at Riverbend, we have many apple trees. We harvest them in late fall and store our apples all winter. This recipe is a fantastic way to use up any apples that may be slightly past their fresh-eating prime and need to get used up before going bad.

The other reason I love this recipe is that it’s so versatile. Mix it up with other fruit variations and combinations. You can also use fresh, frozen, canned or even freeze-dried fruit for this recipe. Canned apple pie filling is also delicious.

Since there are so many variations, we find we come back to this recipe again and again. Not to mention, your house will smell amazing while it’s baking, and you can whip it up in minutes for those unexpected guests who stop by.

A woman picking apples from a tree.

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Brown Betty?

When it comes to making the perfect Apple Brown Betty, it’s crucial to choose the right apples. The best apples for this dessert are those that hold their shape when baked and have a good balance of sweet and tangy. Two popular choices are Granny Smith and sliced apples.

Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples are a classic choice for Apple Brown Betty. They have a firm texture that holds up well when baked and a tartness that complements the sweetness of the dessert. If you prefer a less tart flavor, you can add a bit more sweetness to the recipe.

A woman slicing five apples.

Sliced Apples

Another great option for Apple Brown Betty is using a variety of sliced apples. This not only adds a depth of flavor to the dessert but also creates a beautiful visual presentation. Some of the best varieties of sliced apples for Apple Brown Betty are Honeycrisp, Gala, and Pink Lady.

When making Apple Brown Betty, remember that the type of apple you choose will affect the overall flavor and texture of the dessert. Choose your apples wisely to ensure a delicious and satisfying dessert that everyone will enjoy.

A bite of Apple Brown Betty on a fork with more served up on a white plate.

Tips for the Best Brown Betty

Making the perfect Apple Brown Betty requires attention to detail and a few expert tips. Here are some baking tips and serving suggestions to ensure you create the best dessert:

  • Adjust the sweetness: Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you may want to adjust the amount of brown sugar in the recipe. Taste the apples before adding the sugar, and adjust accordingly.
  • Use cold butter: To achieve a crumbly and crunchy topping, use cold butter when making the crumb mixture.
  • Don’t overmix the crumb mixture: Overmixing the crumb mixture can result in a dense and heavy topping. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined.
  • Choose the right apples: As mentioned in section 7, Granny Smith apples are a popular choice for their tartness and firm texture. However, other varieties such as Honeycrisp or Jonathan also work well.
  • Serve it warm: Apple Brown Betty is best served warm, straight from the oven. Add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream for an extra indulgence.
Apple Brown Betty being baked in the oven.

How Do You Make Apple Brown Betty?

Are you ready to create a warm, comforting dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth? This Apple Brown Betty recipe is perfect for a cold night in and surprisingly easy to make.

Apple Brown Betty ingredients on a counter.

Ingredients Needed

For this delicious Apple Brown Betty, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Apples – See best apple recommendations above. We’ve tried this recipe with all kinds of apples, you really can’t go wrong! For more of a classic “apple pie” flavor, use a tart apple, such as Granny Smith.
  • Bread – Day-old or stale bread works best. You can also cube up the bread the day before and leave it out to get stale. Or, toast the bread in the oven for a few minutes to dry it out. The goal is for the bread to soak up all the delicious flavors.
  • Brown Sugar – Did you know you can make your own homemade brown sugar by mixing 1 cup of regular granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses? Add more or less for a lighter or darker brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon (optional) – If you’re looking for more of that classic apple pie flavor, add some ground cinnamon to the pan before baking. About one to two teaspoons is all you need.
  • Nutmeg (optional) – If you’re looking for more of that classic apple pie flavor, add some ground nutmeg to the pan before baking. Just a pinch sprinkled over the top before baking is all you need.
  • Butter – Don’t skimp on the butter! Both when greasing the pan and dotting the top. The butter is what melts and gets absorbed into the bread. It’ll also help keep the dish from sticking to the pan. Learn how to make homemade butter three ways here.

Make sure to use the freshest ingredients possible for the best results.

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these simple step-by-step directions to create a delicious dessert that will impress your family and friends:

  1. Generously butter a well-seasoned 12-inch cast iron pan or a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Slice eight pieces of bread into ½” cubes.
  3. Chop three large, tart, baking apples (such as Granny-Smiths) into ½” cubes.
  4. Spread half of the bread cubes in the bottom of your pan, followed by half
    of the apples.
  5. Sprinkle with about ¾ cup brown sugar.
  6. Repeat with the remaining bread cubes, apples and another ¾ cup of brown
    sugar.
  7. Dot the top generously with the butter.
  8. Drizzle with ½ cup water.
  9. Cover with foil and bake in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove foil and bake for about 10 minutes longer to brown.
  11. Serve warm.

Homesteading Hack: Serve your Apple Brown Betty with homemade vanilla ice cream or sweetened cream for the perfect combination of sweet and creamy.

And that’s it! This classic Apple Brown Betty recipe is sure to become a household favorite. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. Then snap a photo and tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily so we can see!

A bite of Apple Brown Betty on a fork with more served up on a white plate.

Apple Brown Betty

Do you ever crave that old-fashioned apple dessert that brings back memories of Grandma’s kitchen? If so, you’ll love this easy Apple Brown Betty recipe that’s much faster to make. This classic dessert combines sweet, diced apples with a buttery sweet bread topping that bakes perfectly. Top it with vanilla ice cream or sweetened cream and it’s the ultimate comfort food and one of my all-time favorites.
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 434kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • 12 inch cast iron skillet or 9×13 inch baking dish

Ingredients

  • 6 cups apples peeled, cored and diced (about 3 large apples)
  • 8 slices bread day-old or stale bread works best
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup butter cubed

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Generously butter a well-seasoned 12-inch cast iron pan or a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Slice eight pieces of bread into ½” cubes.
  • Chop three large, tart, baking apples (such as Granny-Smiths) into ½” cubes.
  • Spread half of the bread cubes in the bottom of your pan, followed by half of the apples.
  • Sprinkle with about ¾ cup brown sugar.
  • Repeat with the remaining bread cubes, apples and another ¾ cup brown sugar.
  • Dot the top generously with the butter.
  • Drizzle with ½ cup water.
  • Sprinkle the optional cinnamon and nutmeg over the top.
  • Cover with foil and bake in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for about 10 minutes longer to brown.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Tips for the Best Brown Betty

Making the perfect Apple Brown Betty requires attention to detail and a few expert tips. Here are some baking tips and serving suggestions to ensure you create the best dessert:
  • Adjust the sweetness: Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you may want to adjust the amount of brown sugar in the recipe. Taste the apples before adding the sugar, and adjust accordingly.
  • Use cold butter: To achieve a crumbly and crunchy topping, use cold butter when making the crumb mixture.
  • Don’t overmix the crumb mixture: Overmixing the crumb mixture can result in a dense and heavy topping. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined.
  • Choose the right apples: As mentioned in section 7, Granny Smith apples are a popular choice for their tartness and firm texture. However, other varieties such as Honeycrisp or Jonathan also work well.
  • Serve it warm: Apple Brown Betty is best served warm, straight from the oven. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream for an extra indulgence.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 761IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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