Apple Brown Betty (ish) from Jessie Sheehan

Although I did not grow up in a home where homemade desserts were served on the regular, I did grow up eating a lot of “apple brown betty,” prepared by my mom. Really, more of a “crisp” than a “betty,” as a true apple brown betty is topped with breadcrumbs, my mom’s dessert remains one of my all-time faves. Yes, apple pies are delish, and no, I don’t anticipate turning down a slice come the end of November.  But crisps/bettys are the easiest of sweet treats to throw together, have amazing bang for the buck (i.e., they can feed A LOT of people), and the combo of crispy, butter-y, sugar-y bits of crumb atop softened and lightly spiced apples, is one of life’s fall-pleasures that should not be missed.

To take a peek at the original blog post for my apple brown betty (ish), and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.





  • 7 medium apples, a variety of types is nice, peeled and cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 2 scant tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar (aka sugar in the raw)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold



preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray.


in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and the two sugars. add the butter, and using your fingers, form medium crumbly clumps of topping. place the bowl in the refrigerator (or even the freezer).


in a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with the water, lemon juice, sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. transfer to the prepared pan.


remove the topping from the refrigerator and cover the apples with it, forming small or medium crumbs with your fingers, as you do so. gently pat the crumble down.

bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crisp is browned and bubbling.  let it cool at least 15 minutes before serving with a dribble of heavy cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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