Apples are flavoursome, nutritious, versatile, and widely available. Many are home grown and have not travelled for thousands of miles before reaching our kitchens. Apple Brown Betty is an old fashioned pudding that has lost none of its appeal and is great family dish for Sunday lunch.
DRIED CRUMB MIXTURE
- ½ loaf white bread or 60g (2oz) dried breadcrumbs
- 60g (2oz) melted butter
SPICED SUGAR MIXTURE
- 90g (3oz) light brown sugar, or less, depending on taste
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each powdered nutmeg and cloves (or mixed spice)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp grated or zested lemon rind
- 600g (1¼ lbs) cooking apples e.g. large Bramleys, peeled and cored
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Yoghurt, whipped cream, or custard, to serve.
- You will need an 850ml (1½ pint) oven proof, deep pie dish, well buttered
- Preheat oven to 230ºC, set to Bake, rack position D.
- First make the dried crumbs. If you have a food processor or a Dualit mini chopper this is simple. After removing all the crusts, cube the bread. Place the cubes in the bowl and whiz briefly until all the crumbs are roughly equal in size.
- If you don’t have a machine, pull the bread to pieces in your fingers and chop on a board using a large knife.
- Place the crumbs in the oven tray to a depth of about 2cm (¾ inch) and bake for 10 minutes or so until they are golden and crisp.
- Mix and toss with a fork after five minutes. Break them up again in a plastic bag, using a wooden spoon, or return them to the food processor. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter.
- Spiced sugar: sift the sugar, spices, and salt into a bowl and add the lemon rind.
- Apple mixture: slice the apples into a bowl with the lemon juice, and toss.
- To assemble: line the bottom of the pie dish with one-third of the crumb mixture.
- Place half the apples on top ofthe crumbs, and then cover with half of the spiced sugar.
- Sprinkle with vanilla extract as you go.
- Cover with another third of the remaining crumb mixture. Add the rest of the apples, sprinkle with more spiced sugar and vanilla extract. Place the rest of the crumbs on top. Cover with foil or a porcelain plate and bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 25 minutes until the apples are nearly tender when pierced with a knife.
- Remove the foil or plate, reset the temperature back at 230ºC and let the pudding brown for about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve hot with Yoghurt, whipped cream, or custard.