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Enjoy a sweet treat with an American classic

Apple Walnut Rum Brown Betty is a traditional American staple

By the editors of Relish Magazine | 9/12/2015, 6 a.m.
Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar, topped with breadcrumbs, walnuts and butter — what’s not to like?

Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar, topped with breadcrumbs, walnuts and butter — what’s not to like? A traditional dessert dating back to Colonial times, Brown Betty may not be a looker, but it’s steadfast and true. This cobbler-like dessert is low in fat and high in fiber. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • 6 large apples, peeled, sliced in ¼-inch slices (Fuji, Gala, Delicious), about 2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • n 2 slices whole grain bread
  • n 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • n ¼ cup quick-cooking oats
  • n 2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine apples, ½ tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, ¼ cup brown sugar, cranberry juice, cranberries and rum in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until fruit is softened but not mushy, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer to a gratin dish or 9-inch glass pie plate.

Place bread in a food processor and pulse to form coarse crumbs.

Combine breadcrumbs, walnuts, oats, butter and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl, working mixture with your fingers to blend. Sprinkle over apples and bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Serves 6.

— Recipe by Steven Petusevsky. Photo by Jessica Merchant.