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Apple Betty (VRP 096)

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Apple Betty is a delightful dessert that layers spiced apples with sweet, crumbly toppings, offering a comforting taste with every bite. This traditional American dish resembles apple crisp but uses bread crumbs for a unique texture. It’s perfect for cozy evenings or to conclude a festive meal.

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Apple BettyApple Betty

Front of the recipe card for Apple Betty.

Apple Betty

Back of the recipe card for Apple Betty.

Vintage Recipe Box 96

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Food History

Apple Betty, also known as Brown Betty, dates back to colonial America and has remained a beloved dessert due to its simplicity and the widespread availability of its ingredients. It typically features seasonal fruits and a crumbled bread topping, making it a versatile dessert that can adapt to different seasons and tastes.

Recipe Discussion

This Apple Betty recipe combines tart baking apples with brown sugar and cinnamon for sweetness and spice, while raisins add a chewy texture. Water and lemon juice provide moisture and a touch of acidity to balance the flavors. The topping is a crunchy mix of bread crumbs, walnuts (or nut-like cereal for additional crunch), spices, and melted butter, which bakes into a golden crust over the spiced apple mixture.

Serving Suggestions

Apple Betty is best served warm, perhaps accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to complement its warm spices. It’s also delicious, with rich flavors and textures, making it a satisfying dessert or treat.

Preparation Tips

  • Apple Selection: To prevent the dish from becoming too mushy, choose firm apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, that hold up well to baking.
  • Lemon Juice and Rind: Don’t skip the lemon rind and juice, as they add essential brightness that contrasts the sugars’ sweetness and the spices’ depth.
  • Bread Crumbs: Tear the bread into crumbs for best results, as larger pieces might result in a less cohesive texture. Alternatively, lightly toast the bread before crumbling for an even crunchier topping.
  • Baking Tips: Covering the dish with foil for the first part of baking keeps the moisture in, allowing the apples to cook perfectly. Removing the foil towards the end allows the topping to achieve a delightful crispness.

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Apple Betty Recipe

Apple Betty

Apple Betty

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 3 cups sliced baking apples
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup each raisins & water
  • grated rind & juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 slices bread torn into fine crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or nut like [cereal]
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg
  • ½ cup butter or margarine melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. COmbine apples, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnaon, raisins, water & grated rind & juice of a lemon.
  2. Mix bread crumbs, walnuts, remaining brown sugar, spices & butter & spread mixture over apples.
  3. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes
  4. Uncover & bake 15 min longer, until nicely browned.


Serves 6 to 8.

Whether new to baking or a seasoned cook, Apple Betty is an excellent choice for an easy yet satisfying dessert. Its blend of soft, spiced apples and crunchy topping creates a delightful array of textures and flavors that make it a timeless favorite.

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