honey bourbon peach brown bettys

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so, i had some subpar peaches.

well, i'm sure they were fine peaches.  but i have become a total peach snob.  i like autumn glo peaches from kuhn orchards.  they're the essence of peach.  the flavor is perfectly sweet and round.  there is none of that undercurrent of acid you get with other peaches sometimes.

you can buy them saturdays at the u st farmers market in dc between 9 and 2 for the next two weeks.  i bet that is super convenient for you.  you're welcome.

luckily, i also have a recipe for how you should use the subpar peaches available in your own local grocery or farmer's market.  it even works if you have perhaps forgotten them in the crisper bin for a week or two. 

or, even if you haven't forgotten them, but it just takes you a week or so to get your hands on bourbon because you live on the east coast and they don't sell booze in your local CVS or even GROCERY STORE like civilized people.

because you're gonna need some bourbon.  i went jack daniels tennessee honey.  just seemed like the right thing to do.

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you know what makes peaches awesome?  a good soaking in bourbon, with a little thyme.  and bourbon whipped cream, but we're getting to that soon.

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this recipe is a riff on a smitten kitchen brown betty recipe. the appeal of other fruit desserts like crisps and cobblers is easy to understand: sugary, crunchy streusel topping!  light, flaky biscuits! 

but the brown betty elevates humble sandwich bread to yummy new heights.

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you start with a layer of butter and a sprinkle of sugar in the muffin tin.  this is going to brown-up and get caramel-y like no one's businesses.  more butter, and then the peach-breadcrumb-bourbon-brown sugar goodness will seal the deal.

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according to my friend wikipedia, brown bettys date to colonial times.  also, they were nancy reagan's favorite dessert.  who knew?

they – or at least the bourbon whipped cream – are even manchego approved.

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baby betties!  ready to par-tay!

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Honey Bourbon Peach Brown Bettys

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3 cups peeled, chopped peaches
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey bourbon (I used Jack Daniel Tennessee Honey because the nice liquor store clerk said it was less sweet than other honey bourbons, and I figured the recipe would be otherwise sweet enough.)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Melted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • 6-8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • Whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together your chopped peaches, bourbon, and thyme leaves.  Let hang out in the fridge for a few hours macerating and getting yummy.  This mix also goes great in sangria with white wine.  Maybe with some thyme or mint simple syrup.  Mmmm.

Mix your macerated peaches with the panko, salt and sugar.  I bet some nutmeg would also be delightful in here if you're feeling fancy.

Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin.  Or a clean wine bottle if that's what you've got. 

Brush some butter in your muffin tin, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Line the tins with the bread.  I used both full size muffin tins (full slice of bread) and my mini muffin tin.  For the mini muffins, I tore the bread into four pieces and two pieces for each tin.  Just play with it, it doesn't have to be perfect.  And, like with pie crust, you can use bits of bread to plug and holes.

Once you have your crust, brush with more butter.  Fill with peach filling, pressing slightly to pack it in.  This will help with the integrity of your bettys, especially if you've got a lot of hole filling that has gone on in the crust creation. 

You're going to bake these guys first with foil on top (10 min for regular muffins, 7ish for minis), then uncovered to get them brown (15-20 for big guys, 10-12 for minis).  I also then broiled the top of mine because I wanted the tops to brown more.  Cause I was taking them to a party and I thought looks mattered, and there there was no light on the rooftop deck.  But you're going to cover them in whipped cream, so maybe you don't have to be OCD like me.  Or maybe Smitten Kitchen is wrong and they should just be baked uncovered the whole time?  Maybe I'll have to make 5 more batches to see!!!!

While the bettys are baking, whip some cream with a little sugar and some bourbon.  Let the bettys cool just a smidge, top with cream and enjoy!

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