Russian Brown Betty

Russian Brown Betty, made with rye bread, apples and jam!!!

Russian Brown Betty 

from ‘The Best of Russian Cooking’ by Alexandra Kropotkin, 1964

8 large apples (only 7 fit, and barely in 1 1/2 qt. casserole)

1/2 c. water

1 c. sugar (divided)

1/2 c. raisins

1 t. orange rind

1 t. ground cinnamon

3/4 c. finely chopped nuts

4 c. crumbled dark rye bread

3. T. salad oil (I used butter)

1 t. lemon rind

1/2 t. cloves

dry bread crumbs

4 T. tart jam or jelly


Peel and core the apples. Cut them into eighths. Add to the water a half cup of the sugar, the raisins, the orange rind, and cinnamon. SImmer the apples with this mixture until just tender. Add the nuts when apples are tender.

The bread should be at least one day old. Crumble and fry it for 5 minutes in 2 T. of oil.  Add the lemon rind, cloves, and the other 1/2 c. brown sugar.

Brush the inside of a fireproof casserole with the remaining oil. Dust with bread crumbs. Put in 2 cups of the fried bread. Cover with apples and 1 cup of bread.  Spread with jam or jelly. Top with the remaining bread. Bake 1 hour in a medium over (350 degrees). Serve hot or cold with a pitcher of sweet cream.

**Notes: This was interesting, I can’t call it bad it wasn’t, but next time, I probably would not use the jam, I cannot for the life of me figure out a purpose for it, but I noticed man of the pies and desserts in this cookbook use jam or jelly, so it must be a Russian thing. Also, I put this in a 1 1/2 or 2 qt. pyrex casserole dish and it was towering. Be sure to cover it when it gets browned on top. The blueberry jam I used looked pretty ugly once the bread browned, it looked burnt, but was not.

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