Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Betty (or Brown Betty) a N. American baked pudding, consisting of alternating layers of sugared and spiced fruit and buttered breadcrumbs. A little fruit juice is used to moisten the whole, and it is baked until browned and crisp on top. Although various other fruits can be used, Apple brown Betty is the favourite. The name seems to have first appeared in print in 1864, when an article in the Yale Literary Magazine listed it (in quotation marks, implying that it was not then a fully established term) with tea, coffee, and pies as things to be given up during ‘training’. That author gave brown in lower case and Betty in upper case; and, in default of evidence to the contrary, it seems best to go along with the view that Betty is here a proper name.