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Brown Betty


Dish of sweetened apple layered with crumb made from rolled oats or breadcrumbs, sugar and melted butter. Baked. See also: Crumble

Original Receipt from British Food Trust

Brown Betty
Serves: 4-6
6 oz Fresh breadcrumbs, mixed brown and white
3 oz Butter, melted
4 Large Cooking apples, about 1½ lb
4 oz Brown sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground cinnamon
½ Lemon, zest and juice
Cream, to serve
Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and pour on the melted butter, mixing lightly with a knife. Peel and core the apples and slice them thinly. Mix them with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice.
Butter a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and put in a thin layer of crumbs, then a layer of apple, then more crumbs, more apples and lastly a layer of crumbs. Cover with a sheet of foil. Bake at 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas 4 for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the top has browned nicely and the apples are tender.
Serve hot with cream. The apples should have started to caramelise and become transparent and amber coloured.

This dish may originate in the USA, being first known from The Yale Literary Magazine of 1864, though the customary receipt there is slightly different

Original Receipt from Joe Tilden's Recipes's for Epicures, San Francisco, 1907

Brown Betty
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with bread crumbs, over which place a layer of thinly sliced tart apples. Sprinkle thickly with sugar and small pieces of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then cover with bread crumbs and repeat the layers until the dish is filled, having a layer of crumbs sprinkled with bits of butter on top. Then pour over all three-quarters of a cup of molasses thinned with a little hot water. Bake until the apples are tender and the top is well browned.

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