Apple pie is the quintessential fall dessert. It evokes memories of jumping in the leaves, cuddling up in a cozy sweater, and stuffing your face at Thanksgiving dinner. Making a delicious homemade apple pie isn’t all that difficult but it can be a little time consuming Instead, when a craving for apple pie hits try making an Apple Brown Betty! It has all of the same delicious flavor as an apple pie minus the hassle.
An Apple Brown Betty is very similar to a crumble or crisp. It’s a traditional American dessert made from apples that are topped with delicious sweetened crumbs. It is unclear of the exact origin of this dessert however, it was first mentioned in a cookbook dating all the way back to 1864! Just like its apple pie counterpart, it pairs really well with a nice, cold scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
The recipe that I used came from one of my most favorite cookbooks, The New England Orchard Cookbook: Harvesting Dishes & Desserts from the Region’s Bounty . If you love farm fresh fruit such as apples, berries, and peaches this would be a fabulous addition to your cookbook library. It features information on local farms all around the New England region (CT, MA, RI, VT, and NH) as well as a bounty of wonderful and delicious recipes like Streusel Spiced Cider Muffins, Orchard Cake, Apple Stuffing and more!
For this recipe I made a few, very slight changes. In place of the maple syrup that was called for I used pure apple syrup, I prefer the flavor over maple. The instructions said to use cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to taste but I instead tossed the apples with a cinnamon sugar blend and apple pie spice which is a mix of all the flavors that are called for. I also substituted Granny Smith apples for McIntosh. In general you can substitute one baking apple for another in most apple recipes. The top apples for baking are: Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn, Cortland, and Honeycrisp.
- 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 1/4 maple syrup
- Cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, to taste
- 1 full sleeve of graham crackers
- 1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the syrup and spices. Toss to coat. Place in a medium casserole dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham crackers, melted butter, and brown sugar. Using your hands, crumble up the crackers and mix everything together.
Pat the crumb mixture all over the top of the apples. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the apples up bubbling up through the topping and the crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
**Tip** – You can also use a food processor to turn the graham crackers into crumbs.