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Monday, November 7, 2011

Hello, Betty!

I love all the different kinds of apples that are available in our area this time of year--sweet, tart, crisp, soft, red, yellow.  And being just picked, makes them taste even better.

Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen.
I made a really tasty Apple Brown Betty over the weekend from America's Test Kitchen (where else?).  At least I was told it was tasty.  I made it for the fellowship hour after church and it was like a swarm of locusts descended on the table of food, so I never got to taste it.  But I thought I'd pass it on to you.

Serves 6-8 (I doubled it, but only used about 2 cups of cider instead of the doubled amount)

If your apples are especially tart, omit the lemon juice.  If, on the other hand, your apples are exceptionally sweet, use the full amount.  Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container; topped with vanilla yogurt, they make an excellent breakfast.  The apple varieties listed in the recipe are recommended, but you could use any tart and sweet varieties.

4 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch table salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 cups apple cider
1-3 tsp juice from 1 lemon (see note above)
  1. FOR THE BREAD CRUMBS:  Pulse the bread, butter, and sugar in food processor until coarsely ground, 5-7 pulses.  Transfer to a 12" skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they are deep golden brown, 8-10 min.  Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate; wipe out the skillet.
  2. FOR THE FILLING:  Combine the sugar, spices, and salt in a small bowl.  Melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter in the now-empty skillet over high heat.  Stir in the Granny Smiths and half of the sugar mixture.  Distribute the apples in an even layer and cook, stirring 2-3 times, until medium brown, about 5 min; transfer to a medium bowl.  Repeat with the remaining butter, the Golden Delicious and the remaining sugar mixture, returning the first batch of apples to the skillet when the second batch is done.
  3. Add the cider to the skillet and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits; cook until the apples are tender but not mushy and the liquid has reduced is just beginning to thicken, 2-4 min.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in the lemon juice (if using) and 1/3 cup of the toasted bread crumbs.  Using a wooden spoon, lightly flatten the apples into an even layer and evenly sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs.  Spoon the warm betty into individual bowls and serves with vanilla ice cream, if desired

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