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.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Cooking and Recipes

From salad to soup - how to best use leftovers

Cookbook author Raquel Pelzel and columnist Cathy Barrow recently joined The Washington Post Food staff recently answered questions about all things edible. The following are edited excerpts. Recipes whose names are capitalized can be found in the Recipe Finder at washingtonpost.com/recipes. Q: I made a massive salad of corn and bell peppers (using...
The guy who brought you Umami Burger wants to reinvent PB&J
The guy who brought you Umami Burger wants to reinvent PB&J

Adam Fleischman, the man who brought us the Umami Burger, is holding a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is not the PB&J of your cafeteria childhood, but rather an enclosed disk that looks remarkably like something from Area 51. The sandwich, and a fleet of others built and branded like them, is Fleischman’s latest project: a new empire of...
10 mega myths about farming to remember on your next grocery run

Most of us don't spend our days plowing fields or wrangling cattle. We're part of the 99 percent of Americans who eat food, but don't produce it. Because of our intimate relationship with food, and because it's so crucial to our health and the environment, people should be very concerned about how it's produced. But we don't always get it right. Next...
An instant way to bolster flavor
An instant way to bolster flavor

Inventive cooks are always looking to push flavor to the maximum. Here is my advice: When in doubt, add a little miso. It has transformative powers. In addition to offering a host of nutritional and probiotic benefits, miso imbues everything it touches with a sweet, salty, nutty complexity. Whether you choose mild white miso, medium-bodied yellow miso...
Build a better burger with add-ons
Build a better burger with add-ons

I stumbled onto these burgers at Whole Foods Market last summer, after a long day of staring at a computer. I rarely succumb to pre-made meat dishes because I know I can make them at home — where it would be fresher and, I’m sure, better.  And, really, a hamburger patty? How tough is that to make?  But there it was in the meat...
More Stories