A Brown Betty is a simple American dessert made from fruit (usually apple) and sweetened crumbs that is thought to date back to Colonial times.
It consists of a baked pudding made with layers of sweetened and spiced fruit and buttered bread crumbs. It is usually served with a lemon sauce or whipped cream. The most familiar version is the Apple Brown Betty, made with sliced apples and brown sugar. Other popular fruits are berries, and pears.
A Brown Betty is similar to a cobbler or a bread pudding.
A Brown Betty dessert is unfavourably mentioned in J. D. Salinger’s 1951 classic novel The Catcher in the Rye where it is described as typical unpleasant boarding school fare. On the King of the Hill animated comedy series, the character Peggy Hill claims to make the best Brown Betty in Texas.