Cranberry Pear Brown Betty
I love the combination of textures and flavors in this old-fashioned favorite. When cranberries are in season, I always freeze a bag or two so I can make this wholesome dessert year-round. It’s a great way to use up day-old bread.
Serves6 to 8
Cooking MethodSlow Cooking
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
EquipmentCrock Pot, Food Processor
Taste and TextureFruity, Sweet, Tart
Type of DishDessert
- 2 cups (500 ml) dry whole wheat bread crumbs (see tips)
- 2 tablespoons (25 ml) butter, melted, or extra virgin olive oil
- 6 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 cup (250 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tablespoons (25 ml) stevia extract (see Notes)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) cranberry juice
- Greased slow cooker stoneware
In a bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine pears, cranberries, stevia and lemon juice.
Spread one-third of the bread crumb mixture in prepared stoneware. Layer half the pear mixture over top. Repeat. Finish with a layer of crumbs and pour cranberry juice over top. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours, until fruit is tender and mixture is hot and bubbly.
Works best in a small (3½-quart) slow cooker.
To make dry bread crumbs for this recipe, toast 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Tear into pieces and process in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until finely ground.
Use a light whole wheat loaf for this recipe. Those with a heavy molasses content will overpower the fruit.
Stevia is an herb that is almost 300 times sweeter than ordinary sugar and contains virtually no calories. It is used extensively as a sweetener in Japan. If you don’t have it, use ¼ cup (50 ml) brown sugar (such as Demerara) or evaporated cane juice sugar (such as Sucanat) instead.
2008 Judith Finlayson