Jan 28, 2013

Vintage Monday - Peach Blackberry Brown Betty (with pandoro croutons)

I'm finally mentally settling into summer vacation mode and these past few days, after a few sweltering ones last week, seem to agree with my mood.
My mom came over and we baked up a storm. I'm trying to get rid of an excessive amount of ingredients that decorate my pantry, from flours to nuts to dried fruit. Everything is being stored in jars, for the first time, and it makes a huge difference in how it keeps.
One thing I made, and am so happy with it, is the homemade amaretto I told you about last week. I´m never buying it again, I don't care if it comes from Saronno, it's too ridiculously expensive.

Ever heard of urban camouflage? Some are SO good, like the bulldozer and the gondola.

Next fall, make some brown sugar autumn leaves...

In the meantime here are some worthy-of-pinning recipes I found:

Just as I can say I stretched the finnish pulla to the max with the stuffed french toast and caramelized apple bread pudding I can say the pandoro, that unbelievably good tasting golden sweet bread was put to good use with this peach and blackberry brown betty. Like using the whole chicken, there was nothing left unused.

First came the pandoro, and then came the inevitable leftover bread, because a girl can only eat so much and I could not give as a gift the one with a missing slice, because of the picture that was taken and also because I ate it. And then another slice.

Besides this recipe today, I have oven dried ground pandoro crumbs tightly stored in a tin. They will get used, I'm not sure when. 
As for these croutons, my first idea was to use them over ice cream, to add some crunch. Then I thought about a fruit gratin. But I still didn´t quite know how to put that together in a way that I was satisfied with the result. 
My second idea was a bread pudding, but my favorite of favorites, the one with caramelized apples posted last week,  I had already made for christmas, then there was the orange almond with french bread and Julia Child's cinnamon toast bread pudding. There were enough puddings already, don't you think?

Enter the brown betty, the sophisticated version, with fresh white and yellow peaches and juicy, dark blackberries. What was probably a very cheap way to use leftover bread and cheap fruit in the past turned my summer fruit and leftover holiday bread into a dessert that I might actually want to make a pandoro especially for.
I've always been intrigued by some names like buckle or betty or, many years ago, cobbler. To me, they gave nothing away as to what the dessert might be and they all included fruit. Now I only have the buckle left to tackle.

First layer of croutons and fruit

By the way, I'm also stretching the fresh summer fruit into everything I can possibly make, something I never did before this blog was born.
It started with the fresh cherry custard pie, then the sweet, incredible surprise of brown sugar ice cream with caramelized fruit made in the wok, and on to a chocolate raspberry pie, a gluten-free plum hazelnut upside down cake, the peach chutney, a fig honey compote (for a guest post coming soon), fig jam with tequila and some peaches in vanilla syrup that I canned two days ago. 
I can rest now.

adapted from Joy of Cooking, by Irma and Marion Rombauer

I used pandoro croutons, which I make by dicing leftover bread and baking it in a single layer, in a low oven, 220º, for about 1 hour or as long as it needs to dry and become golden. Bake the bread slowly so the croutons stay dry and crunchy. You don´t want toasted on the outside and soft on the inside.
You can easily substitute challah, brioche or any other sweet egg bread. Or even cinnamon bread.

4 cups (about) Pandoro croutons (see above)
1 ½ pounds (700g) fresh peaches, I used 3
1 ½ cups fresh blackberries
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 oranges
2 Tbs water
Fresh cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 325º.
Peel and cut peaches in slices. Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl.
In another small bowl mix orange juice and water.
You will make 3 layers of croutons and 2 layers of fruit mixed with the sugar, juice and zest, so divide accordingly.
Put 1/3 of the croutons in the bottom of a pyrex dish. Place half of the fruit on top, sprinkle with half the sugar and half each of the zests, and finally pour half the juice with a spoon all over the fruit. Repeat with croutons, fruit, sugar, zest and juice ending with a layer of pandoro croutons.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until very golden and easily pierced with a knife.
Let cool a bit and serve hot or warm with cold cream.
Keep refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 or 3 days.

Ready to go into the oven


  1. Recipes like this make me long for summer. I so wish it was peach season here.

  2. I am envious of you that you have summer weather! As I'm writing this it is snowing out and all school buses have been cancelled because of a freezing rain warning! Lucky girl! Your recipe sounds delicious and nice pics too! :)

  3. Paula,
    I love that you and your mother bake together! How wonderful is that? My mom lives in Texas but when we get together, now, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen! :)
    OK, I love this post. . . you have so many hidden gems (links), I love it. LOVE the brown sugar autumn leaves (how beautiful). . and I know what you mean. Whenever I find blogs like that, I am so inspired.
    Thank you for the link to my Incaciata. You are so sweet! Please let me know if and when you make this. As always, LOVE your photos, post and recipe!

  4. I've never made a brown betty - but I love these flavors - how fun that you and your mum can cook together!
    mary x

  5. What a beautiful and warm dessert, I would love to try it :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Looks absolutely delicious! I love fresh fruit desserts, especially like these.


  7. baking with moms is the best! I can almost smell your kitchen from here!

  8. This looks absolutely delicious!

  9. So delicious! Love peach and berry combo!

  10. This sounds amazing, Paula - especially with the slight sweetness of the pandoro. Beautiful!

  11. First of all, gorgeous pictures, Paula! Second, this dish looks so pretty and sounds delish! Pinning!

  12. I love fruit desserts, Paula, and peaches with blackberries is a terrific combination! Love this!

  13. Oooh, yum! This dessert looks amazing. All of that citrus flavor must be wonderful in there too. Such a great combo with the peach and blackberry.

  14. I love these baked fruit desserts. That looks so beautiful!!

    It was raining ice last night... enjoy your hot weather! :)

  15. This treat looks amazing Paula! I absolutely love the shot of cream pouring down onto the cobbler. Yummmmm.. peach and blackberry is a superb combo. ♥ Jo

  16. Paula, I really like the fact that you mentioned that you and your mother were "baking up a storm", how nice that experience must be. The recipe for today´s dessert certainly also sounds and looks like a relly delicous summer dessert - the mix of fresh peaches and blackberries is always a winner. Very nice presentation!

  17. Beautiful recipe, and how I envy summer and all the goodness coming with it :)

  18. Looks just fabulous! It's gray and chilly here, but I'll tuck this away for summer. :)

  19. A wonderful dessert! The use of leftover bread in a scrumptious dessert is inspired! Although I try not to waste food it very easily happens, especially during recipe testing. A great post!

  20. Very impressed you made your own Amaretto. This is a great idea for using up leftovers - I've now got ideas about pannetone from Christmas.

  21. Looks amazing! The more summer fruit the better I can't wait for it to be summer here.

  22. This looks absolutely amazing! I love the sweet-tangy pairing of peaches and blackberries. Can't wait to try this!

  23. I love fresh fruit recipes in the Winter! It's a little bit of summer during these cold months :) Looks delicious...

  24. Paula...talk about kismet with slightly different endings! I'm so sorry you left your 'guy' behind. You only hope the people who moved in after you (I'm assuming your ex didn't stay there..or else you would have gotten it back) were bread bakers and knew what a goldmine you left behind - instead of throwing it out. 'Herbie' was so strong, that I didn't even have to refresh the amount I removed for recipes - the dough would triple in size before the deflate and shape, and then the oven spring..WOW. It takes a good amount of time and constant baking and feeding to get a killer SD starter, so losing it is like losing, well..gold. :(

    That said, I LOVE brown betty 'any fruit' and yours looks flippin' amazing with the peaches and blackberries, but the best part, the pandoro croutons - brilliant! This is a must make for me :)

  25. This recipe brings back memories of when I lived in Texas...summer with peaches and blackberries. I keep forgetting to let you know that I like your china. I have the same pattern at our summer cottage in Maine and love it.

  26. This is beatiful Paula - the fruit so fresh and colorful! No, I haven't made the pandoro yet. Mark looked at the number of eggs and (considering my diet) suggested we wait till Easter. I reluctantly agreed... I can't wait to check out some of the links. The amaretto sounds amazing and anything homemade is better than store bought! ~ David


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