Bensonhurst Kitchen: Apple Brown Betty

It’s autumn, aka fall, and in orchards and backyards throughout the tri-state area – falling is exactly what apples are doing. Whether sweet red, yellow – or a tangy green, one of these crispy orbs is probably pulling a Newton off a branch near you as we speak.

As much as I appreciate a slice of good old American apple pie, after a while it can get bor-ing.

From the perspective of a sweet tooth, there’s just so many other types of pie to choose from. Blueberry, peach, key lime, cherry, pecan – just ask Justin Brannan.

But I digress.

This week, Colleen gives the humble apple, along with some leftover bread, a new, more luscious lease on life with her own take on a traditional recipe that dates back to Colonial times.

And no, you can’t smoke it.


Colleen’s Apple Brown Betty


3 apples
7 slices of sandwich bread, wheat or white
8 tablespoons regular salted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel and thinly slice the apples. Cut the sandwich bread into small pieces.

Grease an 8 X 8 baking pan with butter.

Mix cinnamon & nutmeg with the sliced apples, coating as evenly as possible.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the brown sugar in the bottom of the baking pan. Then a layer of approximately 1/3 of the sliced apples followed by 1/3 of the bread pieces.

Repeat the layers two more times, ending with bread pieces.

Slice butter and place slices all over the top of the bread pieces.

Sprinkle with water and 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.

Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


This recipe is great for using up left over bread or even slightly stale bread. Use what you have available, even left over French or Italian bread works great!

Recipe and tips by Colleen