A Brown Betty Dessert With A Tropical Twist

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 25, 2009
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Professor Alan Ragains at Windward Community College enjoys his job teaching speech and supervising a number of lecturers. He also is instrumental in developing the speech curriculum.

Ragains moved to Hawaii 23 years ago and worked as a sales manager and store trainer at the state’s only department store at the time, Liberty House.

Born and raised in Peoria, Ill., he attended Illinois State University. He taught high school speech, theatre and English while attending Bradley University, earning a master’s degree in speech/theatre.

He also was involved in historic preservation throughout Illinois, including restoring his Victorian home. Ragais owns Alan Ragains & Associates, a company that designs communication seminars for businesses and organizations. Meeting the needs of his clients is his priority. Programs have included listening, assertiveness, persuasion and making presentations to clients, to mention a few. He also has served as a facilitator for strategic planning. Ragains enjoys his work and traveling, but is always happy to return to his home in Hawaii.


 

He says that as a child growing up in the Midwest, Brown Betty was a popular, easy dessert. He has given me this recipe to share with MidWeek readers. It uses a combination of old-fashioned rolled oats and whole wheat breadcrumbs. This would be wonderful served as a Thanksgiving treat with some low-fat frozen yogurt.

Brown Betty dessert is thought to date back to colonial times. It is a simple dessert made with fruit and spiced crumbs sweetened with white or brown sugar. The fruit and crumbs are layered, and it is baked like a pudding. Apple was the most popular fruit, but berries and a combination of fruits also can be used.

Here’s Ragain’s Hawaii twist on the Brown Betty using mango!

Note: This dessert is sugar-free; if you desire, substitute white or brown sugar for Splenda.

ALAN’S MANGO BROWN BETTY

* 1/3 cup melted butter (may use Smart Balance margarine)

* 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

* 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

* 2 1/4 cups sliced mango

* 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

* 1/2 cup Splenda

* nutmeg, to taste

* grated rind of 1 lemon

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* 1/2 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 11-by-14 baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

Mix butter with bread-crumbs and rolled oats. Arrange in baking dish: first a layer of crumbs, then a layer of combined mangos and blueberries. Sprinkle fruit with some of the Splenda and spice. Repeat until fruit and crumbs are used, topping dish with crumbs. I usually have three layers of crumbs (bottom, middle and top) separated by two layers of fruit.

Combine lemon rind, juice and water. Pour over top of dish.

Bake for about 45 minutes. If crumbs get too brown before time is up, cover dish with foil.

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Makes six servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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