Apple Brown Betty is a classic dessert—a topping over a simple apple filling.   The topping is made with dried bread crumbs.

We’ve made many betties and we think that the recipe contained herein is the best of the classic apple betty recipes.

Kitchen Notes

We wanted to make betties using panko bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs.  With premade crumbs, we would significantly cut down on prep time.

We used an Apple Master to core, peel, and slice our apples.  With an Apple Master and premade crumbs, prep time was about 20 minutes.   (We would never be without an Apple Master for apple pies and desserts.)

The secret to good betty is a crumbly crust like a streusel.  With classic recipes, bread crumbs are mixed with sugar and butter.  In the heat of the oven, a crumbly crust is formed.

We got a great topping from panko.  Because panko is drier than bread crumbs, we cut the baking time.  The graham cracker crumbs were more of a problem.  They are finer and created a powdery feel in the mouth.  We added more butter and sugar to get the crumbs to clump.  It worked but the topping was sweet and rich.  You are welcome to try the graham cracker topping but the panko makes a better dessert.

We used Saigon cinnamon and doubled up the amounts shown in the recipes.  We wanted a pronounced cinnamon flavor that would stand out against the tart apple flavor.

Classic Apple Brown Betty

For the filling

6 medium Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (we doubled this amount and used Saigon cinnamon)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the topping

6-8 slices firm, not doughy, white bread (French bread works well) to make 3 cups coarse crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (we doubled this amount and used Saigon cinnamon)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1.       For the filling, peel and slice the apples so that they are 1/4 to 3/8-inches thick.  Toss the slices with the lemon juice and melted butter.

2.       Stir the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon and flour until evenly distributed.  Spread the coated apples in a 9×9-inch ungreased baking pan.

3.       For the topping, use a food processor to make 3 cups coarse bread crumbs.  The crumbs should be about the size of peas.

4.       Toss the bread crumbs with the cinnamon and second measure of brown sugar.  Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and toss again.  Spread the topping over the fruit to cover.  Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil.

5.       Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked with a skewer or toothpick.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees to make the topping crunchy.

Serve hot or cold with ice cream.

Panko Apple Brown Betty

Using panko crumbs, we cut the prep time to 20 minutes.  This is every bit as good as the classic.

For the filling

6 medium apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the topping

2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1.       For the filling, peel and slice the apples so that they are 1/4 to 3/8-inches thick.  Toss the slices with the lemon juice and melted butter.

2.       Stir the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon and flour until evenly distributed.  Spread the coated apples in a 9×9-inch ungreased baking pan.

3.       Toss the panko bread crumbs with the cinnamon and second measure of brown sugar.  Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and toss again.  Spread the topping over the fruit to cover.  Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil.

4.       Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked with a skewer or toothpick.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees to make the topping crunchy.

Serve hot or cold with ice cream.

Graham Cracker Apple Brown Betty

Using graham cracker crumbs, we cut the prep time to 20 minutes.  To get the graham cracker crumbs to clump together for a streusel-like topping, we had to use more butter and sugar.

For the filling

6 medium apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the topping

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

5.       For the filling, peel and slice the apples so that they are 1/4 to 3/8-inches thick.  Toss the slices with the lemon juice and melted butter.

6.       Stir the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon and flour until evenly distributed.  Spread the coated apples in a 9×9-inch ungreased baking pan.

7.       Toss the graham cracker crumbs with the cinnamon and second measure of brown sugar.  Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and toss again.  Spread the topping over the fruit to cover.  Press the topping down with the back of a spatula.  Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil.

8.       Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked with a skewer or toothpick.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees to make the topping crunchy.

Serve hot or cold with ice cream.

 

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