Happy July 4th to all our American readers! This is the time of year for outdoor get togethers and picnics. I wanted to share a few of our favorite desserts for the summer. These are all American and perfect to celebrate the holiday, and any other time of year. Fruits are in season and what better way to show our love than cook up a great dessert that showcases the flavors? Blueberries, strawberries, and peaches are all in season. Apples are just starting to show up at the farmers markets. I also love all these desserts because they are easy to make. They each have a little place in my heart for different events and what kinds of fruit is available. Let’s get this party started with the Brown Betty.
This recipe is from our friend Carol, and it was her mom’s recipe. I love family recipes, they have such depth. One note on the recipe, is I used a rustic loaf bread because of my gluten intolerance (made with a specific flour). The recipe calls for white sandwich bread, which I highly recommend using because of the soft texture. If you use a rustic loaf bread, add more water to moisten the bread when cooking. It will feel like you are adding too much water, but your not.
Mary Kerler’s Apple Brown Betty
Best for: large gathering with lots of mouths to feed!
- 1 giant size loaf of Wonder bread
- 3 pounds of Macintosh apples
- 1 stick of butter
- white sugar, brown sugar, & cinnamon
- Prepare in 2 very large bowls for approximately 12 generous servings.
- take out the butter to soften
- cut the bread into cubes
- peel & slice the apples
- place some slices of butter on the bottom of the bowl
- place the bread and apples into the bowl in layers
- place slices of butter between the layers as you go
- sprinkle layers with plenty of brown sugar, white sugar, & cinnamon
- once the bowl is full (2 inches from the top) add just a little water to moisten the apples while cooking
- bake at 350-375 degrees for at least 1 hour – perhaps 1 1/4 hours
- cover the bowl with aluminum foil for the first 40 minutes of baking – then remove
- It’s done when bubbling! Must be served hot with plenty of cold hard sauce!
prepare and refrigerate before baking betty
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 stick of butter
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla
- 4 tablespoons milk
- cut up the butter and place in a large bowl – leave it to soften
- use beaters to mix the butter while pouring in the powdered sugar
- place the bowl down in the sink to avoid splashing sugar
- add 4 tablespoons milk (or a little more as needed for consistency)
- add 3 teaspoons vanilla
- when beaten to a smooth texture, put in the refrigerator
This recipe is seriously so easy. No peeling, no prep, no nothin’! Your essentially making a very rich cake batter, spreading it in a pan, and adding berries. I like raspberries or blue berries, but you could add which ever you like.
Best for: a picnic because this dessert holds its shape nicely and travels well.
Berry Buckle Recipe
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups of berries
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder). In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, mixing carefully, then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, until combined.
- Spread mixture in a buttered baking dish (mine is about 2 qts) and sprinkle the berries on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Check doneness with a cake tester (a.k.a toothpick or knife).
And last we have the cobbler. I seriously LOVE a peach cobbler with a little vanilla ice cream. This is another dessert that is beyond easy to make. You can’t mess this up. I also like to make mine in a cast iron pan, not only because it adds to the rusticness, but you can go from stovetop to oven and only dirty one pan. That’s what I’m talking’ about! Also, if you’ve never made your own pie crusts by hand this is a nice intro to using a pastry cutter. The same technique is used when making a pie crust.
Best for: an event where you can grab your pan and go. Travels well in the pan.
Peach Cobbler Recipe
- 4 1/2 cups sliced, fresh peaches
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbs cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cold butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 milk
Using a cast iron pan on a medium heat burner, add sliced peaches, sugar, about a 1/2 cup water and the cornstarch. The water should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan and will help make a sauce. Cook until peaches are soft and sauce has thickened. About 20 minutes. Set aside while you make the topping.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon together with a fork or pastry cutter. Using the pastry cutter to cut better into the flour mixture. Don’t over work – it’s ok if the butter is pea sized. Make a well and add egg and milk. Whisk egg and milk together in the well, then include rest of flour and butter mixture. Spoon dollops directly onto the filling in the cast iron pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.