Classic Brown Betty Dessert

This simple dessert originated in American colonial times. Feel free to substitute other fresh fruit in season and to replace the bread crumbs with graham cracker crumbs.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 55 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups peeled, sliced apples (about 3 to 4 apples)
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 3 1⁄2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the apples in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar mixture and use your hands to combine. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Toss the crumbs with the melted butter.
  • Press 1 1⁄2 cups of the crumbs on the bottom of the prepared pan. Carefully place half of the apple slices on top. Cover the slices with 1 cup of the crumbs. Place the remaining apple slices on top and cover with 1 cup of crumbs.
  • Add the water, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut into squares. Serve warm.