Fall is apple season, aoday I had some very special apples to process. They came from trees growing in the yard of a house I’ve been helping clear out. Most of what Stephen and I had found was fit only for applesauce. However as I cut up our gleanings,I found to my great joy there were a few that had no worms or rotten spots to speak of and looked easy to peel. We had recently eaten most of the things I usually make from apples–apple crisp, apple compote, and baked apples, so I wanted to find something new and different to make from this remarkable fruit. I looked in my old Fanny Farmer’s Boston School of cooking cookbook and remembered something from my own childhood I had been fond of. Here is the recipe as Miss Farmer suggested making it, together with a note of what I did. I might add I used a hearty gluten free bread. Cream, whipped cream or any kind of sauce would taste good with this, as would ice cream. Prefer less calories? Use soy, rice, almond, oat or other grain non dairy milk..
Apple Brown Betty
This simple tasty recipe from my old Fanny Farmer’s cookbook is well worth making and eating at any meal, breakfast, dessert, or tea. Butter a 1/12 to 2 quart casserole. preheat oven to 350.
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, crumbled small
1/4 cup melted butter
4 cups sliced, peeled tart apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg or 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup hot water
(Optional) grated rind and juice of half a lemon
Method: Peel apples and cut into slices–thinner is better than thicker, but not paper thin. Mix breadcrumbs and melted butter. Mix up brown sugar and cinnamon with optional grated rind and juice of half a lemon or not. Put a layer of breadcrumbs on the bottom, pour half the apples over, sprinkle with half the brown sugar mixture.Put on rest of apples, top with rest of sugar and the crumbs. Pour hot water over all and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Important: Cover the top for the first 30 minutes.
Cook’s Note: I mixed the sugar with the apples because I read the recipe wrong, and it turned out just fine. I didn’t put in the lemon either. Make it simple if you like. This was delicious made with 3 Bakers white gluten free bread. You need a hearty crumb for best results, so use any hearty whole grain loaf, gluten free for those who prefer.
Photo and article copyright 2013 Tasha Halpert