Tag Archives: samantha parkington

Recipe: Apple Brown Betty

11 Nov

This is the second recipe from my little Childhood Recipe Series. I got it from another American Girls Cookbook, this time from Samantha Parkington‘s . In the series, Samantha is a girl living in the turn of the century. She is an orphan living with her grandmother (whom she calls Grandmary) in an upper-class household. One of her friends is an Irish servant girl named Nellie, and eventually both Samantha and Nellie are adopted by Samantha’s Aunt. Her books talk a lot about class disparity, woman’s suffrage, and child labor.

I don’t think I mentioned in the last post, but Addy is an African-American slave who escapes from a plantation with her mother. They both live in Philadelphia, and later on in the series her father (who had been sold to a different plantation when Addy was young) joins them. Her storyline deals mostly with prejudice and the difficulties Addy and her family encounter, even being in the Free North.

Anyway. I love the American Girls. Can you tell??

I made this recipe for Apple Brown Betty for the first time about 12 years ago (yeah, I was 12. I CAN DO THE MATH!), and I hadn’t made it since until this weekend. I’m not sure why, because it is really easy and super-delicious. It’s basically butter, breadcrumbs, sugar and apples. Easier than any apple pie, but twice as good. I’m not going to even try to touch the whole Thanksgiving meal thing, but if you’re looking for a twist on the traditional apple pie this would be a delectable alternative (look at me, breaking out the $5 words!).

Personally, I adore pie, but I’ve never been able to master the art that is the pie crust so I end up buying the pre-made stuff. This is kind of like apple pie, but there is no crust involved. I compare it to making lasagna – you just layer, layer, layer.

Recipe

4 apples

1.5 C bread crumbs

1/2 C brown sugar

3 TB butter

Cinnamon

1/3 C milk

Hard Sauce:

1/3 C butter

1/3 C powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8 in plan with BUTTER! Or you can use cooking spray.

Peel, core and chop the apples into 1/4″ slices.

I’m working with a severely reduced kitchen, so my carrot peeler is MIA and I don’t actually own an apple corer. To get around that I used a paring knife to peel, chopped the apples in half and kind of sliced the core out of either side.

Cored apples. Sorta.

Sprinkle 1/2 C of the bread crumbs onto the bottom of the pan.

Follow by half of the apples, 1/4 C of brown sugar and 1 TB of the butter (chop the butter into small pieces and lay them evenly over the apple slices). Sprinkle the cinnamon over everything.

Add a second layer of breadcrumbs and repeat. So to clarify, you will have two layers of apples, butter, cinnamon and sugar, before you move to the next step which is the top of the dessert.

Top with 1/2 C of breadcrumbs and 1 TB butter cut into small pieces. Pour 1/3 C milk over the entire thing.

Bake at 375˚ for 45 min – 1 hr. While it is in the oven, take the 1/3 C butter for the hard sauce, cut it into chunks and put it in a bowl to soften.

I would suggest keeping a close watch on this while it bakes. I think my oven might bake at a very high temperature, because I had it set at 350˚ and my Apple Brown Betty was done in only 30 minutes. Once the top is a medium brown, you’re good to go and you should take it out.

Browned and ready!

When you take it out of the oven, make the hard sauce. Grab your softened butter.

Cream together with the powdered sugar and the vanilla.

Dab the sauce all over the top of the apple brown betty while it is still warm. This will allow the sauce to melt into the dessert.

You can serve immediately, or wait until it cools. I like to eat it warm.

You’re going to need some milk for this.

❤ Stef

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Recipe: Peach Cobbler

26 Oct

When I was a child, I was enamored of the kitchen. I always used to ask my mother if I could help her cook dinner, and I was always very annoyed when she told me I could make the salad.

The salad? I would think.

A salad is not cooking. I wanted to use the stove to make something real. I wanted to do something, anything other than make that very boring salad.

So suffice to say that I starting cooking (for real) at a very young age – I made my first pie (chocolate cream) when I was ten. Maybe younger. So the other day (ok fine, the other MONTH), when I was rifling through my things at my parent’s house, I was absolutely delighted to find my old childhood cookbooks. I have three – The Boxcar Children’s Cookbook, Addy’s Cookbook, and Samantha’s Cookbook (the latter two are both American Girls cookbooks. Shush you in the back! Did you make apple brown betty when you were twelve? I thought not).

As a quick side note-I am very pleased to learn that the American Girl franchise is still creating new stories and new girls. I absolutely adored American Girl when I was growing up, and I collected all of the books about all of the girls available at the time. I think it is a fantastic way to introduce American history to pre-teens, and even more amazing that all of the stories are told from the viewpoint of the girls themselves. These stories sparked so much more interest in me for the time line of American history than any class ever did, and I just can’t speak highly enough of them.

Back to the food! Upon my re-discovery of these cookbooks, I decided it would be fun to do a series on recipes made from them. Since I am really nothing more than a child at heart, and besides, I’ve never found a better recipe for many of the items in these books. Hell, I still make milkshakes the way the Boxcar Children taught me.

This recipe is from Addy’s Cookbook.

Recipe:

Filling:

4 C sliced peaches (you can use frozen if you like)

2 TB flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 C sugar

Crust:

1 C flour, plus some extra for rolling out the dough

1 TB sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 TB butter

6 TB half and half

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

Slice the peaches.

Add the flour, cinnamon and sugar, mix together and spoon it into a greased baking pan or a skillet.

For the crust, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small chunks and smush them into the flour mixture with a fork until you have pea-sized lumps. Add the half and half and stir until the ingredients are just moistened. Sprinkle some flour on a surface (like a cutting board), turn the dough out onto it, and knead the dough for about 30 seconds. To knead, push down on the dough and then fold it in half and repeat. Using a rolling pin, (or, if you don’t have one like me, any cylindrical object. I’m rather fond of wine bottles!) roll out the dough starting from the center and working your way out until it is 1/4″ thick.

Like this!

Like this!

Cut the dough into strips, or use a cookie cutter to make shapes. I went for strips because I don’t have cookie cutters. I know, you’re just thinking, “How does this woman survive in this world?! No rolling pin and NO COOKIE CUTTERS??” It’s hard. But I manage. During Christmas time I either make drop cookies or cookie strips. Better for dunking that way.

Lay the pieces over the fruit and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over it all.

Mmm, cinnamon-y.

Mmm, cinnamon-y.

Bake in a 425˚ oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

It should look something like this.

It should look something like this.

Ta da!

Cut and serve. You can serve with whipped cream or ice cream if that suits your fancy. I eat mine plain, for dessert and for breakfast. Because I’m an adult now, and I can do that. Hahahaha!!!

❤ Stef