Friday, July 11, 2014

Cherry Betty

by Sheila Connolly

We’ve discussed the wonderful world of bettys, slumps, grunts, buckles and the like before, right? (Good thing the results are better than the names!) Some cookbooks have suggested that a "betty" involves using bread crumbs, so that makes this a betty.

There are many fresh fruits available now, and more coming. I found a large bag of sweet ripe cherries and had to have it, but you can use almost any summer fruit for this recipe, although the softer ones like strawberries and raspberries might turn to mush too fast. You can also vary the nuts you use, to match your fruit. This is a flexible recipe that takes advantage of the best your market has to offer this summer.

Cherry Betty

Butter for dish


5 oz. firm white bread, made into crumbs 
     (about 2-1/2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted


2 pints cherries (you can use berries as well)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup cherry preserves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

(Note: I toasted the crumbs for ten minutes in a slow oven to make them a little crisper, but it’s not essential.) In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, nuts and coconut. Add the melted butter and toss with a fork.

Halve and pit the cherries. In a bowl, combine the berries, sugars, and preserves. If your fruit is not very juicy, you can add a small amount of water or juice.

Sprinkle one-half cup of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Spoon half of the fruit mixture on top. Sprinkle with another half-cup of crumbs. Add the remaining fruit mixture. Top with the remaining crumbs.

Ready for the oven

Press the mixture down lightly with the back of a spoon.


Cover the dish loosely with foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and continue baking for another ten minutes or until the crumbs on top are golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

And ready to eat, with or without ice cream!

One last pitch for Razing the Dead (besides, the cover looks nice and summery). If all goes as planned, I've got another (unexpected) book coming in September, and the next Orchard Mystery, Picked to Die, in October, so things are moving fast!


  1. Mmm, cherries. Yum
    And a surprise book? Oh goody!

  2. This looks heavenly. And I can just imagine it warm with vanilla ice cream melting on top...

  3. I'm on my way, Sheila. Hope there's some left. I love cherries. And I like the addition of the coconut. Nice little switch!


    1. The cherries were just the right stage of ripeness. And the coconut was a Whole Foods find--nice big shavings, not too sweet. I had to find something to try them in. The coconut and the toasted crumbs gave the whole thing a nice crunch.

      Of course, now I'm seeing all the alternatives, like sliced peaches with almonds. Hmm, maybe I need to go make dessert.

  4. Cherries are great, Sheila, and so in season right now! My mother used to make this the easy way, with a can of cherries, a box of white cake mix, a stick of butter. Almonds sprinkled on the top.Easy peasy.
    Yum! Love fresh.

    Daryl / Avery