I can't think of a single dessert my mother made. Except one.
Crisp fall weather meant Apple Brown Betty - a heavenly mixture of caramelized apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and crumb topping. Coming home from school as a kid to its cozy smell was like a warm hug on a plate.
I'm not sure why my mom never made desserts. Perhaps because she was tired from cooking for five children. Or perhaps because she was raised during the Depression era when sugar and sweets were rare. When you do a little research on the history of Apple Brown Betty, you find it dates back to the late 1800s. It was featured as a frugal recipe -- costing only 18 cents.
Even though it was inexpensive to make, I think my mom loved it because it was stylish. In the 1980s, it was the favorite dessert of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the White House. What's genius about this dessert is you only need a few pantry ingredients and it requires no crust. In fact, you probably already have everything to give your family a hug on a plate.
Perhaps pumpkin spice is overrated. If you want your family to think loving thoughts about you, make Apple Brown Betty. Truly, this is the only fall dessert recipe you will ever need. Here's the closest version of my mom's recipe I could find from Ina Garten's Old Fashioned Apple Dessert recipe. And if you need one more reason, October 5 is National Apple Brown Betty Day -- a day everyone should celebrate.