I am sure that all of us can think of a homemade dessert that reminds us of home with just one taste.  Well, Apple Brown Betty is that dessert for me.  Of all the recipes I’ve written, I can honestly say that this one is the oldest.  It was passed down from my Grandfather’s, grandfather’s, grandfather.  So for generations, Apple Brown Betty has been associated with good memories for everyone in my family, which is one of the many reasons why I have chosen to share this recipe.

Besides it being a family heirloom, this recipe is also super simple and anyone can make it.  If you’re the kind of cook that gets stressed out at the thought baking because pie crusts, rolling pins and flour scare you, then this is the dessert for you.  There are only a handful of ingredients and it can be oven ready in no time, making it a dessert you can impress your kids with during the week or impress your in-laws with during the holidays.

With Apple Brown Betty, you get to utilize apples and savor all the flavors of the season but in half the time and with half the stress of most holiday desserts.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Makes 6 servings)

  • 1/2 stick melted butter, divided
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 crackers, ground into crumbs) OR plain dry bread crumbs
  • 7-8 medium-sized apples, peeled, core removed and diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease the bottom and sides of a medium sized, glass-baking dish using about half of the melted butter.  Next, in a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs or bread crumbs with the remaining melted butter until it becomes the consistency of wet sand, and set aside.

Add peeled and diced apples to a mixing bowl, add lemon juice and raisins, and stir to combine.  (The lemon juice keeps the apples from browning, so you may want to add the right after you dice them).  Now add the vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt, and stir again to combine.  If the mixture seems a little dry, feel free to stir in more lemon juice.

Next sprinkle one-third of the cracker mixture on the bottom of the dish, and pour half of the apple mixture on top.  Sprinkle more of the cracker mixture over the apples, then add the remaining apples and sprinkle the remaining third of the cracker mixture on top.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Next, remove the cover, increase the oven temperature to 425, and allow to bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top begins to brown and the dessert is hot and bubbly.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.