I think the time is finally here for a super fruity dessert.
We are well into June now and I just spent Monday through Wednesday in Minneapolis, where it is definitely summer. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday where sunny and eighty degrees, meaning summer time all the way!
Anyway, my point is that it’s totally time for fruity desserts and I’m in love with this blueberry brown betty. The recipe comes from one of my favorite bakers, Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks. She recently released her new cookbook Bread Toast Crumbs and I could not be more obsessed with it. If you guys are into bread baking, this is the book for you. She has created delicious, easy, and approachable bread recipes that anyone can master. And even if you’re not a bread baker, I’d still recommend this cookbook, as it’s full of fun toast recipes, dinner recipes, and desserts too. So yes, if you did not already put two and two together, this is clearly a cookbook for me. I mean, all of the recipes somehow involve bread, whether it’s an actual bread recipe, or one that includes bread…the carb lover in me is basically jumping for joy over this cookbook.
I know I said this, but I love it!
After flipping through the book five times over, I finally landed on this blueberry brown betty. There are of course so many recipes I will be making, but all the berries in the grocery store had me convinced that I needed to make this brown betty. It just looked too good and too perfect to pass up.
Plus, I’m excited to create some summer berry desserts and this betty is just kicking things off in all the right ways.
What I found so unique about this recipe was the topping. Instead of using toasted bread crumbs or a mix of butter and flour, this recipe uses “fresh breadcrumbs”. If you’re unfamiliar with fresh breadcrumbs, which I was, they are just day old bread, pulsed in the food processor until crumbs forms. You don’t toast them or do anything to them, you’re just turning the fresh bread into crumbs, simple as that. Keeping the breadcrumbs un-toasted allows them to soak up some of the liquid from the berries while the crumbs on top get crisp, it’s so good.
The best part about this recipe, I mean aside from how delicious it is, is how quick and easy it is to make. The entire recipe requires just six ingredients, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, salt, butter and breadcrumbs. I mean, I’m not sure about you guys, but I have all of those ingredients on hand right now. And if you don’t have blueberries, you can certainly swap in just about any other berry as well. I think blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries would all be awesome. Or do a triple berry brown betty and use all three!
Side Note: a triple berry brown betty would be very festive and perfect for the 4th of July. Just sayin’
Alexandra recommends serving this with a scoop of whipped cream or ice cream. Seeing as it’s ice cream season, I went with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfection and especially when the betty is still warm. <–because everyone knows a warm dessert plus ice cream is the best.
So weekend plans? Blueberry Brown Betty making and ordering up a copy of Bread Toast Crumbs. Trust me, you will not regret either.
Blueberry Brown Betty
- softened unsalted butter, for greasing
- 6 cups blueberries (see note)
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 cups lightly filled fresh bread crumbs (see note)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- vanilla ice cream or heavy cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch ovenproof skillet or baking pan. In a large bowl, toss the blueberries with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the crumbs with the melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar.
2. Layer half the blueberries into the prepared skillet. Top with one-third of the bread crumb mixture. Layer the remaining blueberries over the top. Finish with the remaining crumbs.
3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the edges are bubbling. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving the brown betty with ice cream or heavy cream.
*To make fresh bread crumbs, simply pulse the bread, preferably at least day old bread, in a food processor until roughly the size of peppercorns. If you are using bread with a thick crust, remove the crust before pulsing. Dried breadcrumbs or Panko should not be used in place of fresh.
*This recipe can be made with other fruits, too. For an autumn version, use 6 to 8 apples, peeled and thinly sliced, and add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the sugar.
*This recipe was reprinted, with permission from Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford.
PS. did I mention all the bread and butter in this recipe?! It’s basically my dream fruity dessert