I am a huge fan of "The Pioneer Woman" a show that airs weekly on the Food Network featuring Ree Drummond who gave up her city life for a new one as a wife and mom on the Drummond Ranch, a huge Oklahoma spread.
Each Saturday I watch her as she prepares the next meal for her hungry crew of family members and ranch hands as they perform their dutiful chores to perfection just for the eyes of the television cameras.
What I really like about her show is the simplicity of her recipes and the fact they are ones that an "average" family would eat and enjoy.
I must say I was a little bit skeptical when I watched her prepare her "Apple Brown Betty" with only four ingredients and one of them eight slices of wheat bread.
The recipe was extremely easy to make but definitely not one for those watching their carb or fat gram counts with ingredients also calling for a cup of real butter and the cup and a half of brown sugar, the true epitome of a Paula Deen concoction.
Anyway, my rationale was this. I hadn't made a yummy dessert in a long time, so a couple of helpings of the Apple Brown Betty would not be a habit I would practice every day, so this one time it would be okay to indulge.
Well, indulge it was. The dessert baked up sweet and caramelly and was every bit as good as I was hoping it would be.
Leftovers were reheated before the ice cream or Cool Whip was piled on making for the ultimate dessert combination.
I baked it in a 9x13 glass pan like th3e instructions suggested and I did bake it a little longer because I wanted to make sure my Granny Smith apples were totally tender. (Nothing worse than a crunchy apple in an apple dessert recipe unless of course they are supposed to be raw.)
This also gave the bread chunks a coarser texture and a little bit more of a crunch when biting into, all a very good thing.
So giving credit where credit is due, this "Pioneer Woman" recipe is definitely a keeper and one I will be making again in the not too distant future - only this time for company.
Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy baking.
Apple Brown Betty
1 ½ to 2 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces,
8 slices hearty wheat bread, diced
3 apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. (I used cooking spray).
Place half the diced bread in the baking dish, and then sprinkle on half the diced apples, half the brown sugar and half the cut up butter. Repeat with another layer of bread, apples, brown sugar and butter.
End by sprinkling ½ cup water over the whole surface, a spoonful at a time.
Bake, covered in foil, until the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to brown.