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History Cookbook: Apple Brown Betty

This recipe is in categories Desserts, Edwardians and WW1
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  • Apple Brown Betty
    Apple Brown Betty
About this recipe
Healthiness : (186 votes)
View a modern version of this recipe

This was an economical dish making use of stale or leftover bread. Both summer pudding and bread and butter pudding are from the same tradition.

A betty is a baked pudding. This dish became very popular in colonial America but also remained a common dish in England.

There are many variations using fruits that were in season at different times and omitting more expensive ingredients like the spices and raisins.

For images of the cooking process see our Apple Brown Betty Pictures.

With thanks to Paul and Helen of  Discover History and Victoria Witty at Canons- Ashby for their help with making this podcast.

  • 2  1/2 lb apples (or other fruit in season)
  • 8 oz fresh white breadcrumbs (about 6 slices)
  • 5 oz brown sugar
  • 3 oz butter
  • 5 oz raisins or sultanas
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • grated nutmeg or cinnamon to flavour (less than 1 teaspoon, a generous pinch)
  • Weighing scales
  • Grater
  • Tablespoon
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Baking dish
  • Sharp knife
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Heat the range oven
  2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples
  3. Grease a medium-sized ovenproof dish
  4. Put one third of the breadcrumbs in the bottom and dot with some of the butter
  5. Put half the apples on top
  6. Sprinkle with half the sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, raisins and nutmeg or cinnamon
  7. Put one third of the breadcrumbs on top and dot with more of the butter
  8. Put on the rest of the apples, sugar etc
  9. Cover with remaining breadcrumbs, dot the top with the rest of the butter
  10. Cook for about an hour in the oven, until the apples are tender and the top is golden brown
Apple Brown Betty - print view  Apple Brown Betty - print view

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There are 2 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Andy 8th November 2019
Please add oven temperature to recipe ( 180 centigrade worked for me ) . I also switched the bread crumbs for crumble mix . I love it , so do the kids , so now it’s a family favourite ! Result !
Name: Lea 30th August 2010
very tasty!
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