Last night, I got the opportunity to cook live on my very first cooking show. I was invited by Chef James Robinson who hosts an online cooking show every Wednesday at 9pm. Yesterday, he had me on as his guest and I was asked to make a dessert that would compliment his Halloween inspired dinner. I figured that I could have racked my brain to think of some kind of spooky dessert or I could keep it simple and classic and make Apple Brown Betty, a dish that I would venture to say was my Grandpa's signature dessert. Plus, apples are in season so this dessert may not be a typical Halloween dish but it's definitely perfect for fall.
Well, as it turned out the cooking show was the best environment for me to revive this recipe because we had an audience of about 15 people. The Chef and I gave out all of the Apple Brown Betty that I made and everyone said that they liked it! I even had one woman tell me she was thinking about making it for Thanksgiving. Smart lady don't you think? ;-)
So I have copied and pasted my Grandpa's recipe below for those of you who are interested in trying this dish. This is how I remember him making it, except I substituted graham cracker crumbs for bread crumbs. I spotted some cinnamon graham crackers at the store and I thought they would compliment the cinnamon that I mix with the apples, but Grandpa always had plain breadcrumbs on hand so he would use those.
Anyway, I hope you all make it this fall while apples are plentiful and therefore cheap! And hopefully I will be able to update this with the video of the show soon!
Ingredients: (Makes 5-6 servings)
1/2 Stick Melted Butter, divided
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs (approx. 6 graham crackers, ground) OR Plain Bread Crumbs
7-8 Medium Sized Apples, peeled, core removed, and diced
3/4 cup Raisins or Dried Cranberries
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a medium sized, glass-baking dish using about ½ of the melted butter. Then, in a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs with the remaining melted butter, until is becomes the consistency of wet sand, and set aside.
Add peeled and diced apples to a mixing bowl and add lemon juice and raisins and stir to combine. (The lemon juice keeps the apples from browning so you may want to add it right after you dice the apples). Next add the vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and stir again to combine. If mixture seems a little dry, feel free to stir in more lemon juice.
Next sprinkle 1/3 of the cracker mixture on the bottom of the dish and pour half of the apple mixture on top. Sprinkle some more of the cracker mixture over the apples, then add the remaining apples and sprinkle the remaining third of the cracker mixture on top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 and allow to bake for another 15 minutes or until the top begins to brown and the apple brown betty is bubbling. (If you notice that the top is not browning, you could switch the oven to low broil for the last 3-4 minutes.)
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for at least 10 minutes. Serve the Apple Brown Betty warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.