Gingered Apple Brown Betty

Sunday 28 March 2010

I have often heard it bandied about that "Necessity is the mother of invention," and never has that old idiom been more true than it has during this past week here at the cottage.

Todd is a very well organized person, so organized in fact that I have spent the last few days with loads of fresh food to use up, but no spices or herbs to help me use them up.

I love spice and herbs. I use them all the time in my cooking. I had some apples and bread to use up, and decided to make my Apple Brown Betty recipe. The perfect recipe to use them up with . . .

except for one thing . . . no spices . . . no cinnamon or nutmeg to give it the homey warm flavour that screams comfort and "Home Sweet Home" to all who are lucky enough to indulge themselves in this particular dessert of mine, around my kitchen table.

I did have, however, a nice fat jar of ginger jam in the refrigerator. We love ginger in this house . . . candied ginger, preserved root ginger in syrup, powdered ginger . . . ginger and apples go very well together too.

I thought and thought about it, and then I decided to be really brave, and throw caution to the wind, and to incorporate several dessertspoons of the ginger jam into the apples . . . just to give them some extra flavour and spice.

Good call on my part. Very good call!! Excellent addition! This was soooooooo good, with soft and tart slices of apple, spicy sweet little nibbles throughout of preserved ginger and syrup, and the buttery crunch of bread crumbs on the top!!!

I love it when I do something extraordinarily brave like that and it turns out scrummily moreishly good! (Whew!! It could so easily have gone the other way!)

*Gingered Apple Brown Betty*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

This is the ultimate example of thrift and making use of what we have at hand. Stale bread, apples and ginger jam . . . deliciously magnificent!

3 cups soft bread cubes (crusts removed)
7 TBS melted butter
6 peeled and sliced tart apples (Granny Smith are great)
3 to 4 ounces soft light brown sugar (depending on the tartness of your apples)
the juice and finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup water
3 heaped dessertspoons of ginger jam

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a shallow baking dish really, really well. Melt the butter. Toss the melted butter together with the bread cubes. Layer half of the bread cubes in the baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, water and ginger jam, mixing it together well. Lay the sliced apples on top of the bread cubes. Pour the ginger jam mixture evenly over top. Top with the remaining half of the bread cubes. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the bread cubes are lightly browned. If you find they are browning too quickly, cover the dish lightly with foil, uncovering the last 5 minutes or so to crisp up again. Serve warm with some cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.


  1. O yes! I would LOVE this combination! Great thinking!

  2. Yum. Yum. YUM! Going to have to try this recipe, it has a bit of everything in it that I like!

  3. Oh Marie- how bad could it possibly have been with apples and ginger??!! YUM! Sounds delicious!
    xoxo Pattie

  4. Ooo...I do like this one, Marie! That zip of ginger and all the sticky goodness... the ice cream the crowning glory... Oh, so delicious! You've been so clever these days to make up wonderful dishes and desserts with hardly anything at all--that is creativity and economy--very inspiring! Thank you, dear friend.. Hope you're having a good weekend and time to brace yourselves for the move--thoughts & prayers you way! :o) LOVE YOU ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Great idea,,you are extremely resourceful!

  6. Ooooh! How deliciously brave you are, Marie! I love ginger, too--this sounds so perfect! Todd sounds like my husband--a little TOO efficient sometimes! But, that's always a good thing in the end, I think!

    Hope your Sunday has been a lovely and peaceful one--I'm at the beginning of mine here in Utah, and you're towards the close of yours. May you have sweet enjoyment of your cottage this night and lovely dreams of your new home....Much love to you, as always, dear friend!

  7. OH MY...the ginger jam sounds so good. One of my favorite jams to add to ham glaze is lingonberry jam!!

  8. Good thinking, that woman! Having been one of the lucky ones to have feasted on Brown Betty I will give this a go - a good go.

    Mind you, I would have been sorely tempted to pop next door to the big house and ask for a quick rummage in their spice drawer.

    love, Angie, xx

  9. I'm sure it was very good. You are quite the lady; still cooking at this stage of your venture; Good luck to you and keep us posted.
    Rita from Canada

  10. As you know I'm a big fan of your regular Apple Brown Betty, so today I'm going to try this.... I love ginger so I'm sure this too will become another favourite! Thanks Marie!


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