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Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-02-2016

How did apple Brown Betty get its nams

The story behind this classic dessert is somewhat nebulous. The Oxford Companion to Fooddeduced that there was in fact a real "Betty" of African-American descent for which the dish is named. It is believed that "brown" wasn't referring to the dish, but to the cook herself, who may have been of mixed racial background. During colonial times it was common to name desserts after people, and there is further speculation that this Betty might have been a slave. The recipe, made from Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, sugar, sandwich bread, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, was first published in the Yale Literary Magazine as "brown Betty" in 1864.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 27,275
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: How did apple Brown Betty get its nams

Interesting topic!  A lot of "recipes" must have been commonly made, then named when it was written up and published in the 1800's.  The english have their summer pudding.  I think unused bread would have been used like this for a very long time--I know people way back couldn't throw away food.  They used every squeak and crumb.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,181
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How did apple Brown Betty get its nams


@Sooner wrote:

Interesting topic!  A lot of "recipes" must have been commonly made, then named when it was written up and published in the 1800's.  The english have their summer pudding.  I think unused bread would have been used like this for a very long time--I know people way back couldn't throw away food.  They used every squeak and crumb.


I actually knew what that was thanks to either Americas Test Kitchen or Cooks Country!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,896
Registered: ‎06-25-2012

Re: How did apple Brown Betty get its nams

I never gave it a thought how something was named. I just make it and enjoy it. Woman Happy

"Pure Michigan"