Strawberry Brown Bettys

A Brown Betty is a pastry dessert that is usually made of apples and sweetened bread crumbs. It is also traditionally served with whipped cream. But since I am trying to watch my diet, I decided to have it without whipped cream. I also substituted apples with strawberries because I find cooking apples a bit too tart.

It was delicious, and I loved having it for breakfast everyday. And lunch. And dessert. You get the drift.

What you need:

  • 3/4 stick salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 slices wheat bread, crusts removed
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, rinsed and quartered

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium low. Keep an eye on the pan until the butter starts to change its color to golden brown. Stir frequently, scraping the bits on the bottom. If the aroma starts smelling nutty, remove the pan from the heat.

Grease your muffin cups with butter or non-stick spray. Roll bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten. Brush both sides of the bread with the brown butter, sprinkle some sugar, then gently fit into muffin cups, like so:

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the brown sugar, lemon zest and Panko. Add the strawberries and toss to coat. Stir in the remaining brown butter. Using a spoon, fill the cups with the strawberry-breadcrumbs mixture.

Best lemon zester I have ever tried. From Williams-Sonoma, around $20.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for about 10 more minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Roll your bread slices as thin as you can so it gets a bit crunchy when baked.
2. Use white instead of wheat bread.
3. When zesting the lemon, scratch lightly. Else, you will get the pith (the white part) and it doesn't really go well with pastry (or anything else, for that matter).
4. 1/2 teaspoon of zest is approximately 1/2 medium-sized lemon.
5. Don't throw away your squeezed-out lemon. Cut it in smaller pieces, put it into the disposal, and let it run. The lemon will disinfect your sink (makes it smell better, too!).
6. Use coarse bread crumbs if you don't have Panko.

Recipe adapted from: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook


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