Apple Cranberry Brown Betty 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nourish Oct 22, 2014

A brown betty is like a fruit crumble made with a topping of crispy sweetened bread crumbs. This one uses fresh apples — skins left on for their rustic appeal and nutrition — that are cooked in a fragrant mix of apple cider, pure maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. They are tossed with a handful of cranberries and just enough butter to add a layer of richness while still keeping it all in the healthful zone.

The topping, a mix of crumbs made from whole-grain sandwich bread, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, bakes up crisp and golden brown, turning the seasonal fruit, easily and healthfully, into an apple-pie-like experience.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 4 large (unpeeled) Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9-inch pie plate or ceramic baking dish at hand.

Tear the bread into pieces (crusts included), letting them fall into a food processor. Pulse for about 15 seconds or until the pieces are reduced to crumbs. The yield should be about 2 cups. Transfer to a medium bowl along with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, the walnuts, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt; toss to incorporate.

Combine the apple slices, maple syrup, apple cider, vanilla extract and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and pinch of salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but still retain their shape, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and the remaining tablespoon of melted butter. Transfer the apple mixture to the pie plate or dish.

Scatter the bread crumb mixture over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is crisped and lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

From registered nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Helen Horton.

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