CEiMB: Apple Brown Betty
The day after Thanksgiving is sort of the perfect day to lounge around, spend some extra time in your pajamas. Well, at least that’s the plan here. I guess some people see it as a perfect day to go fight the crowds and shop the sales all before the sun has come up. Not me. I’m looking forward to a lazy, calm, quiet day. I’m pretty sure there is a Criminal Minds marathon on, so Ryan and I will be watching a lot of TV today, I’m sure.
It’s also time to start looking forward to the next big holiday, Christmas. Last year our apartment was totally decked out! My family is really big on Christmas lights – like REALLY big. There is always quite a huge display on our front lawn. So, of course, Ryan and I had to carry on that tradition here in our apartment, and we wrapped our entire deck in Christmas lights. Considering no one else even decorated their decks at all, we really stood out. Between the lounging and the Criminal Minds power-watching, we will put up our tree and start to decorate. And Ryan will try to convince me to watch Charlie Brown even though I hate everything Charlie Brown.
But before we move completely into the Christmas spirit, let’s give Thanksgiving one last look. My mom and I actually started cooking on Wednesday so we wouldn’t have everything left to do on Thursday. We created quite the impressive spread. On top of our typical dishes, my mom and I experimented with a few new recipes: Martha’s mashed potatoes, Rachel Ray’s cranberry sauce, Meg’s corn pudding, Paula’s pumpkin pie, Southern Living’s Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Ellie’s Apple Brown Betty. All in all, it was a great meal which is good because we’ll be eating on it for a few days, I’m sure.
For this week’s CEiMB recipe, our hostess Sara had us choose our own recipe and asked that it be served at Thanksgiving dinner if possible. So I chose the Apple Brown Betty from Ellie’s new book, “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week”. Once I got out my special apple peeler/slicer/corer, prepping the apples went very quickly. I was a little confused about why the apples needed to be cooked on the stovetop prior to baking because I thought, like with apple pie, they would get cooked in the oven. After cooking the apples, it was time to make the crumb topping. This part was really quick and the mixture looked delicious. I sprinkled it generously over the apples and in to the oven it went. Thirty minutes later, time for dessert.
The crumb topping was delicious; it was crunchy and flavorful. The apples were still a little underdone for my liking – I should have taken the stovetop cooking more seriously, I suppose. Overall, the flavors were great but the dish fell a little flat. I think the problem is that the other desserts were very rich and decadent (and not at all healthy) so it made this one stand out as being “the healthy one”. I will definitely make it again because it came together quickly and easily, and I’m sure it would stand out on its own.
Apple Brown Betty
5 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each) crusts included (to make about 2 1/4 cups crumbs)
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine apples, apple cider, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter until melted, remove from heat and transfer apple mixture to a 9-inch glass pie plate.
Place bread in food processor and process until crumbs are formed, about 15 seconds. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in microwave for 20 seconds. Toss crumbs with melted butter, walnuts, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Scatter crumb mixture on top of apples and bake for 30 minutes, until topping is crisped and lightly browned.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week”, p. 241
6 servings | 4 POINTS