Apple Brown Betty is another easy, sweet option to use up your fall apples! Sweet, tangy, and extra crunchy, this is the perfect fall dessert to give you that cozy, autumnal feel on a cold night.
Apple Brown Betty
Brown betty is the simpler cousin of the apple crisp or the apple crumble, and it is pretty much a requirement to make one at least every year once apple season starts to come to a close.
Make sure you pick up the right apples for this recipe – you don’t want to be eating red fuji apples in this, as it will end up super mealy!
Apple Brown Betty Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts.
• Tart apples
• Granulated sugar
• Apple pie spice
• Lemon juice
• Brown sugar
• Salted butter
How To Make Apple Brown Betty
• Grease a 9×13 baking pan
• Whisk together the sugar and apple pie spice in a small bowl
• Place the prepared apples in a medium bowl, and then toss with the sugar and apple pie spice
• Turn out onto the greased pan and sprinkle with lemon juice
• In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly
• Sprinkle over the top of the apples in an even layer
• Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 35 minutes until the apples are soft enough to pierce with a fork
• Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream
What Is The Difference Between a Brown Betty and an Apple Crisp?
Apple brown betty probably isn't a particularly well-known dessert outside of North America, and the fact that it would seem so similar to another dish, apple crisp, probably doesn't help.
However, there is a key difference between the two – an apple crisp is made from a butter, sugar, flour, and oat topping, creating a sort of craggily, crackly layer on top of the apple filling.
A brown betty, meanwhile, is made using only flour, butter, and sugar, (sometimes bread crumbs as well!) which makes for a finer, delicate topping that is still quite crunchy. This little difference might not seem like much, but it actually creates a substantial difference in both the texture, taste, and even cooking time of your brown betty.
Which one is better? Well, that’s up to you, and depends on how thick and intense you prefer the crusts on your baked dishes.
The Best Kind of Apples to Use
Everyone knows that you need to only use tart cooking apples for these kinds of dishes; however, why is that the case?
Regular eating apples, like Red Delicious or Fuji, are a lot sweeter, but their flesh is also a lot less rigid. This makes them great to bite into, but when cooked, they start to turn mealy and mushy way before the entire filling is properly cooked.
Cooking apples, meanwhile, have a tougher, more resilient texture that holds up better to longer cooking times. Plus, they tend to be a lot more acidic – the extra acidity in, say, a Granny Smith doesn't make for a very tasty apple when eaten raw, but it helps to balance out the flavor and mouthfeel of the cooked apples after a little while in the oven.
Try and stick to the classics, like Granny Smith, Braeburn and Honey crisp, as these will have the best possible flavor and work best in a longer cooking time like apple brown betty needs to become really delicious.
Looking for more delicious Dessert recipes? Try these out:
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Apple Brown Betty
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 35 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 6 cups tart apples peeled and sliced
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter
Bread Crumb Option
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs see notes for substituting
- Preheat your oven to 375 °F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and the apple pie spice.
- Place the prepared apples in a medium bowl then toss with the sugar and the apple pie spice. Turn out into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the lemon juice on top.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the apples in an even layer, patting it down lightly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the apples are soft enough to pierce with a fork and the topping is crisp and golden brown.
- Remove and let sit for 10 minutes, then scoop into bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream.
- You can sub out 1/2 cup of the flour and replace with breadcrumbs for a different version of apple brown betty!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.