“It’s February 14th and the last thing you want to see is a red rose, candlelight, or a box of chocolates. You want a glass of whiskey and some carbohydrates.”
This has been my interior monologue every Valentine’s day, whether I’ve been coupled up or not. And honestly, why bother with Valentine’s Day when you can have Gal-entine’s Day? Invite your best girls over (or guys, whatever!), bake something wonderful, and watch zombie movies or The Wire between rounds of Cards Against Humanity.
Enter the brown betty: this is a super elastic pantry-style dessert that can be made for an intimate group of four or a party of 20 easily. Just add more layers and you’re on your way!
Mine is a combination of apples, blackberry jam, and a touch of rosewater, but imagine how delicious this would be with pears, peach jam, some cinnamon and bourbon? You can go a bit wild with it, and use whatever you have on hand. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream! This is a dish that just begs for it. Enjoy your night in!
For one 9 x13 inch baking pan
4 ounces (one stick) unsalted butter, cold, plus more for greasing the pan
6 to 7 apples peeled, cored and sliced a 1/4 inch thick
use a tart apple like granny smith or pink lady
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups blackberry jam
1 1/2 teaspoons rosewater
6 cups brioche bread crumbs (or any other slightly sweet bread)
1/4 cup sherry, madiera, or port
vanilla ice cream
Pre heat oven to 375 F.
Combine the blackberry jam and rosewater, set aside. Thinly slice the butter (I used a vegetable peeler) and hold in the fridge. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Combine the apples and brown sugar, mixing with your hands to gently coat the apples. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the blackberry jam and rosewater. Set aside.
Spread a 1 1/2 cups of the brioche crumbs on the bottom. Layer with a fourth of the thinly sliced butter and a third of the sliced apples. Spread a 1/2 cup of blackberry jam over the apples. Repeat the process another two times, and end with an extra layer of breadcrumbs and butter on top. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Five minutes before it’s done, drizzle with a 1/4 cup of sherry, madiera or port. Serve with vanilla ice cream.