Last weekend I was browsing though some old cookbooks, and I found a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with an entire chapter on betties! I’ve made a crisp, I’ve made a cobbler, I’ve even made a clafouti, but I’ve never, ever made a betty! Until now, that is…. 😀
In appearance, a betty looks very much like a crisp. So what makes it different? A betty uses soft bread cubes and/or crumbs mixed with sugar and melted butter, while a crisp is topped with a mixture of flour, sugar, cold, cubed butter and oatmeal. The first documented betty recipe is from the 1800s, but The History Chef states that George Washington enjoyed betties (easy to chew, the man wore dentures most of his adult life, yikes) AND in 1989 a betty was featured on the inaugural menu titled, “From George to George” as requested by George H.W. Bush. I also discovered that it was Ronald Reagan’s favorite dessert! Who knew betties were steeped in presidential history?!?!
Now, I’m not one to argue with a former President of the United States, but I’d like to spice up the traditional brown betty a bit. How about a Strawberry-Peach Brown Betty + Spiced Rum Chantilly Cream? Ripe peaches and strawberries tossed with sugar, butter, orange zest and bread cubes, then baked until golden brown and served warm with a dollop of freshly whipped spiced rum chantilly cream….yes, PLEASE! Enjoy! 🙂
This recipe was tested using fresh strawberries and frozen peaches. You may substitute frozen fruit for fresh fruit, but I would not recommend using canned fruit.
- 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 cups sliced and peeled fresh peaches or frozen unsweetened peaches
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 cups soft bread cubes (about 5 slices)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Zest of one orange
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 TBSP powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP spiced rum
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Thaw strawberries and peaches, if frozen. Do not drain.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the fruit with it's juices. Toss with a spatula to combine.
- Add 2 cups of bread cubes and 2 TBSP of the melted butter. Toss to combine.
- Transfer mixture to an 8X8 baking dish.
- In a bowl combine the remaining bread cubes, orange zest and butter. Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle bread topping over the fruit filling. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer with double beaters, whip the cream on medium speed for one minute.
- Add the sugar, spiced rum and vanilla, continue to whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Serve the betty warm with a dollop of chantilly cream.