Apple brown betty

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 09 June 2009.
Tagged: dessert, healthy cooking, healthy eating, vegetarian

  • Ready In: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 50 minutes
  • Serves: 6
Apple brown betty

History has left no clue as to the identity of the "Betty" who first layered breadcrumbs and apples to create this dreamy old-fashioned dessert. But it's a wonderful way to use up uneaten bread or when you have a glut of apples.


  • 4 large green cooking apples (800g to 1kg)
  • 3 cloves
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups soft fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs (allow 10 slices)
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly-packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)


1. Peel and core apples and cut into 2-cm (1") chunks. Place in a saucepan with the cloves, sugar and water. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until apple is cooked and soft. It should be starting to break up. Cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile spray oil over the base and sides of a 20cm square or round baking dish. Mix together breadcrumbs, sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind Sprinkle one-third of this mixture on the bottom of the greased oven dish.

3. Spread half the apple mixture over, sprinkle with another one-third of the breadcrumb mixture and then add remaining apples. Top with remaining breadcrumbs.

4. Bake in a moderately-hot oven 180°C for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm over with custard or vanilla ice-cream.