A Brown Betty is a Southern comfort food, easier than pie and more elegant for dinner party service, when cooked in ramekins.  You can use Granny Smith pears, apples, peaches, or mixed berries.   Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence

Serves 4

  • Unsalted butter, for the ramekins
  • Granulated sugar, for the ramekins
  • 4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ c. packed dark-brown sugar
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2 T. Calvados
  • 4 slices brioche loaf, cut into small cubes
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease four 6-ounce ramekins with butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apple wedges, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and Calvados, and toss to combine.

3. Place the bread cubes in a separate mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Toss to coat the bread with the butter. Place some of the bread cubes in the bottom of each ramekin followed by some of the apple mixture. Repeat to make a second layer, pressing down gently on the filling to compact them slightly. Pour any remaining liquid from the apple bowl over the ramekins.

4. Arrange the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden and crusty, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with a scoop of ice cream, if you wish.