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Lemon Blueberry Brown Betty is a spring version of a classic dessert

So who, or what, the heck is Brown Betty?

Betties are baked, layered puddings that date back to Colonial America, according to “The Food Lover’s Companion.” The layers came from (often brown) sugar and spiced fruit with buttered bread crumbs baked on top to bubbly perfection. 

Traditional Apple Brown Betty conjures images of grandma and crisp fall days, but there’s no reason the featured fruit can’t reflect the change of seasons. For a tasty spring Betty, we put lemon and blueberries to the test. The result: The Kansas City Star’s Lemon Blueberry Brown Betty, a perfect dessert dish. 

The lemon flavor comes from fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a touch of low-fat yogurt. Adding cinnamon helps to reduce the amount of sugar required. Upgrading the choice of bread to whole-wheat also bumps up the nutrition. 

Cooking tip: If blueberries are especially tart, increase sugar in crumb mixture to 3 tablespoons. 

Serving tip: If desired, top each serving with a scoop of frozen, nonfat vanilla yogurt. 



Makes 6 to 8 servings 

1 slice whole-wheat bread 

2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut in fourths 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

Dash salt 

1 (6 ounce) carton low-fat lemon yogurt 

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 

Grated zest of 1 lemon 

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. 

Tear bread into quarters and place in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it forms even crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until butter is evenly cut into the crumb mixture. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, soda and salt. 

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour yogurt mixture into flour mixture and stir until combined. Spoon into prepared pan and spread to coat bottom of pan evenly. 

Arrange blueberries evenly over batter in pan. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. 

Bake 30 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Serve warm. 

Per serving, based on 6: 251 calories (26 percent from fat), 7 g total fat (2 g saturated), 7 mg cholesterol, 43 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 196 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber. 

Recipe developed for The Star by Kansas City-based professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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