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Grandma’s Apple Brown Betty Recipe


Grandma’s Apple Brown Betty is a classic, comforting dessert that combines tart apples with a sweet, buttery crumb topping. This traditional recipe is perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to holiday gatherings. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the ingredients, instructions, and tips for making the perfect Apple Brown Betty. Additionally, we’ll provide variations and address frequently asked questions to ensure you achieve the best results.



For the Apple Brown Betty:

  • 10-12 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter

For the Syrup:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


Step 1: Prepare the Apples

  1. Peel and Slice Apples: Peel, core, and slice the baking apples. Place the apple slices in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add Cinnamon: Sprinkle the apple slices with the cinnamon and toss to coat evenly.

Step 2: Prepare the Crumb Topping

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Mix until well combined.
  2. Cut in Butter: Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 3: Assemble the Apple Brown Betty

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Layer Apples and Crumb Mixture: In a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spread a layer of the apple slices. Sprinkle a portion of the crumb mixture over the apples. Repeat the layers until all the apples and crumb mixture are used, finishing with a layer of the crumb mixture on top.

Step 4: Prepare and Add the Syrup

  1. Mix Syrup Ingredients: In a small bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, hot water, and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour Syrup Over: Drizzle the syrup evenly over the top layer of the crumb mixture.

Step 5: Bake the Apple Brown Betty

  1. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly: Allow the Apple Brown Betty to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Serve: Serve the Apple Brown Betty warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes

  • Apples: Use baking apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn for the best results. These apples hold their shape and have a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.
  • Butter: Use cold butter for the crumb topping to achieve the best texture.


  1. Nutty Brown Betty: Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumb mixture for added crunch and flavor.
  2. Spiced Brown Betty: Add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of cloves to the cinnamon for a spiced version.
  3. Berry Apple Brown Betty: Mix in 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries with the apples for a fruity twist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the Apple Brown Betty ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Bake it just before serving to ensure the topping stays crisp.


Q2: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store any leftover Apple Brown Betty in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.

Q3: Can I freeze this dessert?

A: Yes, you can freeze the baked Apple Brown Betty. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q4: What can I serve with Apple Brown Betty?

A: This dessert pairs well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Q5: Can I use other types of fruit?

A: Yes, you can substitute the apples with other fruits such as pears, peaches, or a combination of fruits.

Grandma’s Apple Brown Betty is a delightful and classic dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. With its layers of tart apples and sweet, buttery crumb topping, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Follow these simple steps and tips to create a delicious and satisfying dessert that everyone will love. Serve this comforting dish warm with your favorite toppings for a truly indulgent treat!

Whether you’re looking for a comforting dessert or a special treat to enjoy with loved ones, this Apple Brown Betty is an excellent choice. Enjoy the rich flavors and the ease of preparation, and feel free to experiment with different variations to make this recipe your own.