Traditionally, brown Betty desserts are made with slices of bread or crumbs. We have our own traditions at the Loveless, and when bread is called for we often use leftover biscuits instead. Layers of sweetened and spiced peaches alternated with crumbled biscuits are baked to a pudding-like consistency for the perfect simple dessert, especially if served the way we do—with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce!
Peach Biscuit Brown Betty
2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 cups sliced peeled peaches (2 1⁄2 to 3 pounds fresh peaches)
2 cups crumbled biscuits (eight to ten 2-inch biscuits)
1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
Whipped cream and Drunken Caramel Sauce (*see below)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, rub the brown sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg to combine. Add the peaches and mix gently to coat the peaches with the sugar. Place half of the peaches in the bottom of a buttered 1 1⁄2-quart baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep. Top with half of the crumbled biscuits. Spoon the remaining peaches over the biscuits and drizzle the orange juice evenly over the dish. Toss the remaining crumbled biscuits with the melted butter and spread over the top of the peaches. Sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the biscuits are an even golden color on top and the juices are bubbly. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving, with a spoonful of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, if you like.
Baking Tip: You could use purchased baking powder biscuits for this recipe or make a half recipe of Sweet Biscuits (recipe in ‘Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe’ Cookbook).
*Drunken Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small cinnamon stick
1 inch of vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1⁄4 cup bourbon, whiskey, or dark rum
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, and cinnamon stick. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan using the tip of a knife and toss in the pod. Set over low heat to warm the cream, melt the butter, and infuse the flavors, about 3 minutes. In a separate deep saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1⁄4 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to melt the sugar. Using a moist brush, wash any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Continue to boil without stirring until the sugar syrup begins to color. Once it turns golden, gently swirl the pan and watch it closely. As soon as the caramel turns an even amber shade, remove from the heat. Carefully pour a few tablespoons of the warm cream into the caramel; the mixture will boil up furiously. Whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the remaining cream. Continue to whisk until all the caramel is dissolved. Stir in the bourbon, remove the vanilla pod, and let the sauce cool to room temperature before serving.
Excerpted from ‘Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe’ Cookbook. Photo by Karen Mordechi.