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Wild Orange Apple Betty

Annie MillerOur family has a Valentine’s Day tradition. My husband and I “date” throughout the year. We choose to spend Valentine’s Day with our children. To make it special, we all plan the menu with input from each family member. We keep it simple so that prep time and clean up is easy and then enjoy the meal and family time together.

Since I have been making a tremendous effort to have our family eat healthy, I was a little stuck on what to have for dessert. Then my son mentioned Apple Betty. We had some organic apples and they needed to be used up, so I agreed.

I found this particular recipe in the "Lancaster County Cookbook" by Louise Stoltzfus and Jan Mast. The publisher included photographs of the area and also a brief synopsis of several towns located within Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Lancaster County Cookbook by  Louis Stoltzfus and Jan Mast 

The apples are the base for this recipe. There is a crumble topping and I used King Arthur flour for that, but I bet this would work just as well with any other flour. I am looking forward to experimenting more with that!

The recipe calls for an optional ingredient, orange juice. I have made it with and without but the orange juice adds definite flavor and sweetness. However, I didn’t have any and I was trying to think of a suitable substitute.

Wild Orange Essential OilWell, I happened to be sitting right beside my essential oils where they are stored on the counter and the one right on my end (since I am obsessed about keeping them alphabetized) was WILD ORANGE. So I grabbed it and gave it a few good shakes over the top. At which point my husband groaned and said, “Oh, no!  Now it will be too strong!” To which I replied, “Well, we’ll find out!”

Oh, the aroma as it was baking was “citrusy” and “cinnamony,” it was so delightful. Talk about a mood lifter. The smell alone was happiness. When it was done, I pulled it out and conducted a taste test as soon as I could without burning my mouth. Oh, let me tell you! Are you drooling, yet? The burst of flavor was, oh, how shall I say? Reminiscent of summer time, visionary of green grass, and warm as a June day! How’s that?

I don’t think orange juice will ever cut it for me again! I have renamed this recipe Wild Orange Apple Betty.

 Wild Orange Apple Betty

6 to 7 cups apple slices
6 tablespoons orange juice, or a few good shakes of doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Fill a deep-dish pie pan or a 9-inch square pan with apple slices. Pour orange juice over slices or sprinkle Wild Orange Essential Oil across the surface of the apples.

Combine all remaining ingredients until crumbly. Spread over apples, covering as well as possible. Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes.

A note on the crumb topping ~ I leave it all on top as directed to get crispy, but a lot of times the flour isn’t moist. So at the end, I stir it into the apples and let it bake just a few moments longer. You could use more butter, but I prefer to leave off the extra calories.

Be sure to use a quality grade essential oil that is labeled for internal use. You can visit my website if you are interested in ordering the same essential oils that I use. You can contact me via my website if you have questions or feel free to post a comment as well!