Ree Drummond’s Easy Apple Dessert for When There’s Nothing in the Fridge

Experiencing a “There’s nothing in the kitchen” day? The Pioneer Woman can fix that. Not only is it one of many apple desserts but Ree Drummond’s Apple Betty requires just a few ingredients. Even better, they’re probably hanging around the kitchen. Yes, even the near-empty ones.

Ree Drummond’s Apple Betty is ‘easy to throw together,’ according to the Food Network star

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles wearing a multicolor top while standing at a kitchen counter
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

A featured recipe on her official Pioneer Woman website, Drummond explained what’s so great about Apple Betty in a September 2021 post. 

“This is one of those ‘I don’t have anything in my fridge or pantry’ recipes that’s easy to throw together at the last minute,” she began. “Made with sliced wheat bread, apples, butter, and sugar, it’s actually fun to make because there’s no mixing … and very little mess.”

Drummond’s Apple Betty is simple to make. It doesn’t require any kitchen gadgets or hard-to-find ingredients. 

“If you can cut up bread and slice a couple of apples, you’re not too far away from having a good ol’ wholesome goodie at your fingertips,” she said before adding “It’s because of recipes like this that I have hope in the world. I hate that ‘nothing in my pantry’ feeling.”

Why ‘The Pioneer Woman’ host loves Apple Betty

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond speaks into a microphone standing in front of a sunflower background
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Drummond’s Apple Betty recipe doesn’t have to be followed exactly which is why the Super Easy cookbook author likes it so much.

“I’m sure there are many different interpretations of this old-time recipe, but I love this one because you can use whatever bread you happen to have lying around,” she said. “Everything from store-bought sandwich bread to a rustic artisan loaf. You can cut the bread (I do) or tear it (I have before), and no matter what, it will be delicious.” 

Plus, the addition of ice cream and whipped cream doesn’t hurt either. 

“As true with any apple dessert, the addition of vanilla ice cream (cinnamon would be yummy, too), freshly whipped cream, or my personal favorite, Reddi-wip from a squirt can, is always a lovely finish,” she added.

How to make Drummond’s Apple Betty

Ree Drummond looks on wearing a pink top
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Unfortunately for fans of The Pioneer Woman, Food Network doesn’t have a how-to on Drummond’s Apple Betty. So that means anyone who wants to make it at home will have to use Drummond’s step-by-step instructions from her site (Don’t worry, there are pictures and detailed instructions from the Pioneer Woman.).

To start, Drummond peels and slices apples. Her pick is Granny Smith but, as she shared in her recipe notes, it’s fine to use whatever’s available. Next, she dices the bread and generously — like, very generously — coats a baking dish with butter.

Then it’s time to put everything together. Drummond sprinkles brown sugar in the bottom of the baking dish followed by apples and bread. She continues with the layering process until she’s used all the apples and brown sugar. 

After the last of the bread’s been sprinkled on top, Drummond finishes it off with slices of butter. Finally, with a sprinkle of water and brown sugar Drummond’s Apple Betty goes in the oven, covered in foil, for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. 

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