Apple Brown Betty Recipe

Whoever the Betty was that came up with this dish, I want to thank her.


Frankly, while I don’t hate making pie-crusts, like Melville’s Bartleby, I’d prefer not to. Here you can use leftover bread, biscuits, or even a pound cake. And though you have to brown it in the oven, it’s a lot easier than rolling out dough for a crust.


  • 6 medium apples
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 c. cubed day-old bread, biscuits or cake
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter 
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • Pinch cloves
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F
  2. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 3/4 inch slices. Transfer to a large bowl, squeeze the lemon over the apple slices and toss gently to cover the apples and keep them from browning before baking. Set aside.
  3. On a 12-by-17-inch baking sheet, arrange the bread or biscuit cubes in one layer and bake on the center rack of the oven until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. When the bread cubes are done, transfer them to a large bowl, pour on half of the melted butter, and toss together. Set aside.
  5. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover to the apples and gently toss together.
  6. Raise the oven temperature to 375° F.
  7. Place one third of the toasted bread cubes on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Top with half of the apple slices. Top with another one third of the bread cubes and then the remaining apples. Top the apples with the remaining bread cubes. Pour the remaining butter over everything.
  8. Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.
  9. Remove from heat and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
  10. Brown Betty is best made the same day you are going to serve it as once you cover and store it, it loses its consistency.

Courtesy of Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style Cookbook