An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it won’t keep Betty from crashing your party. October 5 is National Apple Betty Day!
Apple Betty (also known as Apple Brown Betty, Brown Betty, Apple Crisp, and Apple Crumble) is an American dessert dating back to Colonial times. It’s like a cross between a cobbler and a bread pudding, and consists of layers of apple seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar, and buttered or sweetened bread crumbs. It reminds me of a deconstructed apple pie (I’ve always thought “deconstructed” was a cop out chefs use when they run out of time to properly finish a dish). The recipe first appeared in print in the Yale Literary Magazine in1864, though there is no record of who Betty was, or why she had a dessert named after her. We do know that the “brown” refers to the brown sugar used to sweeten the apples, and that it was a favorite dessert of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
My mom once again helped out with this challenge. She made an apple betty and brought it over for dinner. Tara’s mom, Tracy, is in town visiting for the weekend, so we all had dinner together. Mad props to my mother-in-law for making a perfect whipped cream swirl on top of the apple betty. Which, by the way, was wonderful! It was like an apple pie with a crumb topping instead of a crust. Delicious stuff. Thanks, moms!
When you’re playing the slots, three cherries in a row is a lucky spin. Today’s food of honor requires more than just three cherries, but you’ll feel lucky you get to indulge in such a sweet treat. May 17 is National Cherry Cobbler Day!
We’ve already celebrated one cobbler-themed food holiday this year: April 13 was National Peach Cobbler Day. I already talked about the history of the cobbler then, and its many other fun-to-say-out-loud names (pandowdy, buckle, grunt, slump), so I won’t bother pushing the Deja Vu button again. How about a fun cherry fact instead? The United States grows 370 million pounds of cherries a year. Nearly half of the annual harvest – 175 million pounds, to be exact – is either frozen, canned, or packed into maraschino cherry jars.
Last time, we bought a pricey but very good cobbler from a local supermarket. I couldn’t find a suitable cherry cobbler this time around, but I didn’t search too strenuously, either. I figured I should just make one from scratch this time; I can bake a decent enough pie, and cobbler is like a poor man’s version of pie, anyway. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any fresh cherries – those are probably still a few weeks away yet – so I had to settle for frozen cherries instead. Despite this grievous misfortune, the cobbler still turned out pretty good.
I had to make it the night before, since Tara and I are headed up to Seattle again this weekend. But that just gave us an excuse to indulge in a little cobbler for breakfast. Nothin’ wrong with that! It turned out okay. A little sweet for my tastes, though.
April 13 is a lucky day for you if you enjoy peaches and sweet desserts. It’s National Peach Cobbler Day!
Cobblers have existed for as long as there have been shoes in need of repair. But alas, today’s holiday celebrates a dessert, not a shoemaker. Sorry, hardworking Nike and Adidas folk. We still appreciate you, though. Dessert cobblers originated in colonial America when early English settlers were unable to find the ingredients to make a proper steamed suet pudding. Instead, they took a stewed filling (usually fruit) and topped it with uncooked biscuits or dumplings. After baking, the surface resembled a cobbled street. There are many variations on the cobbler, going by names like the Betty, the Buckle, the Sonker, the Pandowdy, the Grump, the Slump, the Dump, Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy. Just kidding about those last six – don’t get your knickers in a bunch, Walt. Cobblers are often topped with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and served warm.
We found an upscale peach cobbler in the frozen section of New Season’s Market. By “upscale” I mean it cost nine bucks. Nobody said this food challenge would be cheap! Which is why we’re doing it this year, as opposed to last year, when both Tara and I were looking for jobs. We baked it in the oven at 350F for a little over an hour. Sadly, we didn’t have any whipped cream or ice cream, and that made me a real grump. Ha-ha. But the cobbler was excellent!
- Lillet Peach Cobbler (daydreamerdesserts.com)
- Flaky Peach Cobbler (afternoonpopcornsnack.com)
- Ushering in Spring with Peach Cobbler (melindamcguirewrites.wordpress.com)