Brown Betty 90/100

This is now my 90th re-created wartime recipe. Just 10 more to cook by October 1st. I am kind of getting a little sad about that…

Of all the 1940s desserts, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with all the variations of stale bread puddings, during this year. It’s not only the sweet comforting taste, but knowing that I’ve not wasted food and turned something I normally would have thrown out into a delicious pudding, enough to feed everyone.

It was unusual to make a bread pudding without raisins in, Brown Betty has none, no eggs or milk either which makes me think all bread puddings could indeed be made eggless. Instead it has water, the juice and zest of a lemon and a generous quantity of golden syrup, spices, two grated apples, a little sugar and of course LOTS of stale bread!

Last night I ate Brown Betty for my dinner and my pudding. I still have an issue with being in control enough to resist the foods I am allowed, if they are lying around. So when I make a dish like this, I accept that if it doesn’t all get eaten up by everyone at dinner, then it will be me that will polish it off. I make allowances for that and consequently probably only make a dessert once or twice a week!

I loved the lemon in this Brown Betty recipe, lifted the pudding and tasted delicious accompanied by my jam sauce which made the whole thing taste rather like marmalade.

Duke pudding, bread pudding and bread and apple pudding are some of my favourite 1940s puddings I have cooked this year!

Brown Betty

  • 8-10 slices of stale bread
  • 2 large apples
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup (6 tablespoons in North America)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 oz margarine
  • small teacup of water
  • 1 lemon


  1. Brush a pie dish or tin with melted margarine (I used a 9 inch square tin)
  2. Put a layer of stale breadcrumbs in the bottom
  3. Cover with a layer of grated apples (leave skins on)
  4. Drizzle 1/2 the golden syrup over the apples (if you don’t have golden syrup an alternative like maple syrup will work well)
  5. Dot with margarine and sprinkle with the spices mixed together and the grated rind of half the lemon
  6. Repeat the layers and everything above  and then add a final layer of stale breadcrumbs on top dotted with margarine.
  7. Mix the juice of the lemon with the small teacup of water and pour over the pudding
  8. Finally sprinkle with a few teaspoons of sugar
  9. Cook in a medium oven 180 C for 45 – 60 minutes
  10. Serves 6

“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”