Skillet Apple Brown Betty
4 large slices white sandwich bread
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 - 3 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
Crust: Pulse the bread, sugar, butter, and pecans in a food processor until coarsely ground, about four 1-second pulses. Transfer the crumbs to a 12-inch skillet; toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; and set aside
Apples: Combine the sugar, spices, and salt in a small bowl. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over high heat; stir in 4 cups of the apples and half of the sugar mixture. Distribute the apples in an even layer and cook, stirring two or three times, until medium brown, about 5 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, apples, and sugar mixture, returning the first batch of apples to the skillet when second batch is done.
Add the apple cider and cranberries and scrape the bottom and sides of the skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits; cook until the apples are tender (but not mushy) and the liquid has reduced and is just beginning to thicken, 2 to 4 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the toasted bread crumbs. Using a wooden spoon, lightly flatten the apples into an even layer in the skillet and evenly sprinkle with the remaining toasted bread crumbs. Spoon the warm betty into individual bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.