Peach Ginger Rosemary Brown Betty makes brioche flop much better

Peach Ginger Rosemary Brown BettyAn anticipated bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich ended up as a Peach Brown Betty, and it really wasn’t a bad ending. It did begin somewhat sadly for Steve, who had fussed over his buttery brioche dough for two days before it all went wrong in the oven. What seemed to be a golden brown loaf revealed its still-raw core when the top fell off as Steve attempted to turn it onto a cooling rack. Putting the patched-together brioche back in the oven only seemed to create a loaf that was part dry, part doughy and pretty much totally unusable as sandwich bread. Croutons were considered, along with turning the whole mess over to the chickens, but Michelle felt breadcrumbs might be the best option. Steve let the bread bits dry overnight before grinding in Gourmandistan’s food processor and putting the crumbs in the freezer.


As we had quite a few peaches on hand, Michelle thought it might be fun to try a Betty. While Gourmandistan usually takes its summer fruits cobbler-style, she was willing to see if the buttery brioche crumbs could take the place of a lovely lard crust. Adding rosemary and fresh ginger to the chopped sweetened peaches created a spicy, almost savory peach broth. It permeated the brioche crumbs, which added a slightly crunchy, cornmeal-like texture to the soft and exotically spiced peaches. Topping it with a creamy, cheesy mascarpone custard ice cream only made things better.

Peach Ginger Rosemary Brown Betty

To be honest, Michelle still prefers cobbler when it comes to peaches, though she was quite captured by the mascarpone ice cream. But Steve, who enjoys fruit in almost any form, enjoyed this Brown Betty very much—and not just because it helped erase the bitter taste of failure.

Peach Ginger Rosemary Brown Betty


  • 4 c. thinly sliced peaches
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Generous tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1-1/2 c. breadcrumbs (preferably brioche or challah)
  • 3 TB melted butter (plus extra butter for dish)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix peaches, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and rosemary in a large bowl.

Butter a gratin dish with a 6-cup or slightly more capacity.

Mix together melted butter and breadcrumbs.

Spread generous 1/4 c. of crumb mixture in bottom of gratin dish. Top with one-half of peach mixture. Top with another generous 1/4 c. of crumb mixture, then remaining one-half of peaches. Finish with remaining crumbs.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crumb topping is browned. Tent with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes more.

Remove from oven and remove foil. Cool.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


  1. beautiful pictures! and what a great way to repurpose scraps. I’m not sure if you’ve ever worked with sourdough, but tartine bread by chad Robertson has a great recipe for sourdough brioche, which I’ve made and used as challah, french toast material and just for snacking on. maybe you’d like it!

  2. I love peach cobbler too, but I can imagine how beautifully the buttery bread crumbs soaked up that flavorful peach juice of yours. Lovely. And I’ll definitely have to try that ice cream with any future peach desserts!

    • Thanks, Conor! I certainly wouldn’t complain about that! I don’t know what happened. We’ve made that same recipe many times before, but something clearly went badly wrong this time.

  3. Great save … and me oh my, that really looks good! I love, love, love peaches … especially white ones. Sadly I cannot grow them here. 😦 Have seconds for me, will you?

  4. I had never heard of Betty, but now that Wiki introduced us….Couldn´t think of a better way to make the best of an annoying baking project! Brioche crumble sounds wonderful to me, and combined with the flavored peaches and ice cream – I would have eaten it up to the last crumble.

    • I think it’s really more of a New England thing than in our part of the country. I’d always seen Betty in cookbooks, but had never made one. Worth a try, but I did miss the crunchy element. Though it seems silly to complain about brioche crumbs … I mean, how bad can it be?

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