APPLE BROWN BETTY. NOBODY SEEMS TO REMEMBER WHO BETTY WAS EXACTLY, BUT HER EASY-TO-ASSEMBLE, APPLE-PIE-LIKE DESSERT IS HARD TO FORGET WHEN MADE WITH CENTRAL VIRGINIA’S FRESHEST.
SERVINGS: SERVES 6 TO 8
- 1/3 loaf Great Harvest cinnamon-chip bread or your favorite loaf of cinnamon bread, cut into chunks
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 5 large or 7 small tart apples (such as Albemarle Pippin), each cut into 8 slices then into ¼-inchthick pieces (about 8 cups)
- 1/3 cup hickory or maple syrup
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ cup hard cider
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Run the bread through a food processor or blender to form crumbs (4 or 5 cups).
- Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Add crumbs and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, mix together apples, syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, cider, fl our, and ½ cup of crumb mixture. In the same skillet, over medium heat, simmer the apple mixture, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Scatter 1 Tbsp. butter atop apples. Spread remaining crumbs on top; then scatter last Tbsp. butter on top. Bake until juice is bubbling and topping is browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, and serve from skillet.
Serve right from your black-iron skillet.