Old-Fashioned Apple Betty..



This is such an old and almost forgotten recipe (like the ingredients, in my case), but I’m delighted to feature it as a comfort-food, cold-day offering..

Today being the day before the ‘Big Shop’, I was clearing out the fridge.

During that happy half hour  I discovered 4 chilled Braeburn apples, an unopened carton of deluxe custard (Out-of-date tomorrow) and the remainder of the packet of breadcrumbs that I’d used for my cauliflower cheese during the week.

I was looking at them blankly when suddenly I remembered reading a recipe years ago in my Mum’s favourite cookery book – ‘Full and Plenty’ by Maura Laverty – It’s so old it’s held together with sticky tape, and I’ve loved it since I was a kid – there are wee short stories at the beginning of each chapter – a bit like this website in fact :)

It’s inscribed on the front page from my much-loved God-Mother to her sister, My Mum : ‘Birthday Greetings, June 1960, Rita’  Is it any wonder that I love it? :)


State of it! I absolutely adore well-loved cookbooks.. :)

I’ve adapted the recipe (grams, and all that), but all the ingredients and method are original – see what you think..


  • 2 pint pie dish
  • zester


  • 500g of eating apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced.

These are not peeled, because they looked pretty, but I think peeled is best..

    • 50g golden caster sugar

40g melted butter

    • 120g of fresh breadcrumbs

120g, or a big mug-full..

  • 1-2 level teaspoons of ground cinnamon ( or ground cloves – whichever you prefer)
  • a good grating of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • finely grated zest of 2 oranges


  • Juice of the two oranges, made up with water to give 125ml


  • Mix the sugar, orange zest and spices into the breadcrumbs


  • Put half of the sliced apples into your dish.
  • Sprinkle over about 1/3rd of the breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoonful of the melted butter


  • top with the rest of the apples, the rest of the breadcrumbs, the last of the melted butter
  • Evenly pour over the orange juice/ water mix


  • Cover with foil, and put in the oven at 170 degrees for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender, then remove the foil and give it another 10 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.


  • Serve with custard or fresh cream
  • Stand, eating a bowl of your Apple Betty, and admire your nice empty fridge, awaiting  next week’s goodies…


  •  I used eating apples  – you’ll need more sugar if you’re using Bramleys
  • I’m pretty sure you could use almost any fruit for this – plums, rhubarb..
  • The zest and juice of two oranges give a lovely strong orange flavour, reduce the zest if you’d it like less strong.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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