Why this is a cheap dessert: because the batter doesn't require much more than a batch of pancakes; and because it's a good place to use up small, sad winter apples that don't look like they'd last the week. It's also very flexible--amounts can be approximate. It's a lot like the apple dessert that a European lady--she might have been Croatian, might have been Czech, I forget--showed us at a neighborhood cooking class years ago. She told us that where she came from, this kind of dessert would follow a plain, simple main course--like soup--rather than a big meal. They didn't have both at once.
This is what I did: peeled and sliced about eight little apples, and put them in a 9 x 13 inch pan with cinnamon and a little butter. I should have put in a little sugar too, but I forgot. Because the oven was already on, I put the pan in to melt the butter and start the apples cooking.
I used the batter for Bettina's Baked Cottage Pudding (skip the lemon sauce). If you use a large pan, there might not seem to be enough batter to cover the fruit, but don't worry, it will spread. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until done; time will depend on the size of the pan. Check after twenty minutes, but it could take longer.
(When I took it out, I realized I had put cinnamon on the apples, but no sugar; so I sprinkled just a bit of brown sugar on top and around the edges, added a couple of spoonfuls of water as well, and put it back in to bake for just a few minutes. It worked out fine.)
Cut in squares to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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