Apple-Rhubarb Brown Betty
- 12 ounces rhubarb (2 to 3 stalks), trimmed
- 1 loaf brioche or other soft bread (6 ounces), crusts removed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for pan and topping
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into quarter-inch-thick wedges
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut rhubarb into 1/4-inch-thick cubes, yielding about 3 cups. Tear brioche into 1/2-inch pieces, yielding 3 to 3 1/2 cups.
Butter a shallow 1-quart baking dish. In medium bowl, combine melted butter and brioche; cover bottom of dish with 1 to 1 1/2 cups brioche. In another bowl, combine rhubarb, apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Grate zest; add to mixture. Let sit until juices begin to run, about 5 minutes. Spread half of rhubarb mixture over brioche. Sprinkle with 1 cup brioche. Add remaining rhubarb mixture and juices; cover with remaining 1 cup brioche. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Spoon 6 tablespoons warm water over top.
Cover; bake 25 to 35 minutes on the middle rack, until rhubarb is tender. Increase heat to 400 degrees; uncover, and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until rhubarb is soft, top is crusty, and juices begin to bubble at edges of baking dish. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.