Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If this autumnal Apple Brown Betty can’t bring on fall, what can?

Since I prepared the first apple dish (Apple-Butterscotch Brownies featured in Monday’s blog), we’ve twice seen smidgens of rain. No big deluge, to be sure, but enough to cause a little dancing in the streets. Does the grass seem a tiny bit greener? The rain filled some of the dry crevices of our hearts, at least, because it represented hope that fall someday may arrive and along with it more rain!

The dish that (in my mind) heralded the second brief rainfall here was Apple Brown Betty, another of the wonderful apple desserts featured in this month’s Southern Living. I had questioned whether if I went on a bake-a-thon and cooked up every recipe in the magazine’s featured apple section, would a new season hurry on in?

Rain or no, the emergence of this terrific dish from our oven brought some rejoicing around here. Hubby kept asking, “What smells so good?” Nothing like something apple-y to fill every room in the house with a fall-like aroma. Just makes you feel good all over.

This Apple Brown Betty featured 4 cups of soft, fresh breadcrumbs; I used multigrain bread to add to the health factor. Four large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into wedges, layered with a breadcrumb-butter layer and a brown sugar-cinnamon layer, with a cup of no sugar-added apple cider poured over all.

Most people like to top a dessert such as this with ice cream or whipped topping, but honestly, that thought didn’t even cross my mind when I dug into my inaugural dish of this Apple Brown Better. The topping was a little crisp and the insides juicy with the healthy baked fruit. Other than the time required to peel the apples, this dessert made up in no time.

A great addition to the bring-on-fall collection!

Apple Brown Betty

4 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (or 1/2 cup brown-sugar substitute)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1 cup apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together breadcrumbs and melted butter. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Place half of apple wedges in a lightly greased 11-inch-by-7-inch baking dish; sprinkle apples with half of brown sugar mixture and half of breadcrumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining apples, brown sugar mixture, and then breadcrumb mixture. Pour apple cider over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until dessert is browned and bubbly. Let baked dessert stand 10 minutes before you serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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