Apple Crumble

Easy and delicious Apple Crumble. A comforting and nostalgic dessert which everyone will love. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

apple crumble in white pie dish with scoop of ice-cream

Apple Crumble

Sometimes when I am stuck for ideas for dessert, I will fall back on my trusty Apple Crumble and know that this humble, yet fabulous, dessert will hit all of the right notes, no matter who I am sharing it with.

It also helps that this is one of those desserts which you can make with simple pantry ingredients, plus it is always easy to get your hands on fresh apples, whatever time of the year.

What is Apple Crumble?

An Apple Crumble is a warm dessert comprised of soft, stewed apples and covered with a crunchy, crumbly topping.

In the US, this dessert is better known as an Apple Crisp.

apple crumble in pie dish with two scoops of ice-cream

Why This Recipe Works

  • This Apple Crumble recipe is delicious as it is, or use it as a blueprint.
  • The apple filling is soft and tender, with just enough sauce to create a smooth and unctuous apple dessert.
  • The simple crumble topping is soft and crumbly, and generously flecked with crunchy bits.
  • Make a double or triple batch of the crumble topping and store it in the freezer for future desserts.

Easy Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble was among the first recipes which I learnt how to cook at school (pikelets was the first thing I ever learnt to cook). I still have fond memories of my Day to Day Cookery book from high school and all of the easy, and very Australian, classic recipes which we were taught in Home Economics.

And perhaps because this was such an easy recipe, not to mention tasty as well, that I often made it at home for my family for dessert.

Growing up in a Vietnamese family, dessert never really featured on our table. But as I had a sweet tooth as a child, I learnt quickly that if I wanted dessert, I would have to make it myself!

Apple Crumble Recipe

I still wish I could find a copy of the Day to Day Cookery book from my high school years but, these days, Nigella Lawson’s recipe for apple crumble from How to Eat is the one that I turn to most frequently.

I use Nigella’s recipe mostly as a blueprint; sometimes I add cinnamon to both the apples and the crumble, sometimes I add berries, sometimes I add rolled oats.

apple crumble in pie dish with bowl of ice-cream on the side

What Type of Apples to Use

I like to use Braeburn apples when making Apple Crumble. Braeburn apples are not overly sweet in taste, plus they break down nicely when they are cooked to produce a soft apple filling.

Personally, I prefer a soft and almost smooth apple filling in my apple crumble, rather than have large chunks of apples.

But if you happen to like chunks of apples in your apple filling, I recommend that you use firm apples, such as Granny Smith or Gala, which retain their shape very well when cooked.

How to Make Apple Crumble

Step 1

Peel, core and chop the apples. Place the chopped apples into a large saucepan, together with the butter, sugar, ground cinnamon (if using), and orange juice.

Cook over medium-high heat until the apples have softened to your liking.

uncooked apples for apple crumble in large saucepan

Step 2

Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips. You can also use a stand mixer with the flat-paddle attachment.

Stir through the sugars and ground cinnamon (if using).

apple crumble mixture in white mixing bowl

Step 3

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apple filling, and bake until the crumble is golden and the apple filling is bubbling.

unbaked apple crumble before going into oven

Variations

There are many ways you can vary this recipe, depending on what fruits you have to hand or what is in season. Here are some variations I often make:

  • Add a punnet of raspberries (fresh or frozen) on top of the cooked apples, before sprinkling over the crumble topping.
  • Use a mix of apples and pears.
  • Use a mix of apples and stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, or plums.
  • Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats to the crumble topping for extra texture and crunch.

More Australian Recipes

For more Australian recipes, you might also like:

Chocolate Caramel Slice

Lamingtons

Pavlova with Cream and Passionfruit

Print

Apple Crumble

Easy and delicious Apple Crumble. A comforting and nostalgic dessert which everyone will love. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Australian

Ingredients

For the apple filling

For the crumble topping

For serving

  • vanilla ice-cream

Instructions

For the apple filling

  1. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples.
  2. Place the chopped apples into a large saucepan.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon (if using) and half of the orange juice.
  4. Cook over medium-high heat until the apples have softened. Depending on the type of apples you have used, this can happen within 5-10 minutes, or it might take longer.
  5. Stir frequently and add more orange juice if the mixture looks a bit dry.
  6. Some apples release a lot of liquid during cooking, so if your apple mixture has a lot of liquid, keep simmering until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Once the apples have softened to your liking, removing the pan from the heat.
  8. Taste to see if you need to add more sugar.
  9. Transfer the cooked apples to a large pie dish, about 23 cm or 9 inch in diameter.
  10. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the crumble topping

  1. Place the flour, salt and butter into a the bowl of a stand mixer with a flat-paddle attachment.
  2. Beat on low speed until the butter starts to form large clumps with the flour, and the mixture resembles wet sand.
  3. Alternatively, you can do this by hand by using your fingertips or a pastry blender to rub the butter into the flour, until you have a mixture which resembles wet sand.
  4. Use a fork to stir through the sugars and ground cinnamon (if using).
  5. The crumble topping is ready to be used as is. However, if you like to have more crunchy bits in your crumble, you can use your fingertips to squeeze bits of the mixture together to form little clumps.

To assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390 °F).
  2. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apple filling.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crumble is nicely golden and the apple filling is bubbling.
  4. Serve warm.

Kitchen Notes

WHICH TYPE OF APPLES TO USE
* If you like a soft and smooth apple filling, choose apples which break down upon cooking, such as Braeburn.
* If you like firm apple pieces in your apple filling, choose cooking apples which hold their shape during cooking, such as Granny Smith or Gala.

MAKE AHEAD TIPS
*You can make both the apple filling and crumble topping ahead of time.
* The apple filling can be made up to several days in advance and kept covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
* The crumble topping can be made in advance and kept in the freezer in zip-lock freezer bags. There is no need to defrost the crumble – simply use straight from frozen.
* It is best to assemble the dish just before baking. If you cover the apples with the crumble topping too far in advance, the crumble will absorb a lot of the liquid from the apples, which will make the overall dish too dry.

VARIATIONS
* Finely grate some fresh ginger into the apple filling.
* Add fresh or frozen berries to the cooked apple filling.
* Add chopped ripe stone fruits (apricots, peaches or plums) to the cooked apple filling. If they are somewhat firm, cook the stone fruits with the apples.
* Add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the crumble mixture.
* Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of rolled oats to the crumble mixture.

MAKE INDIVIDUAL APPLE CRUMBLES
Fill small ramekins or oven-proof teacups with some apple filling (about halfway), and sprinkle generously with the crumble topping. Bake at 200°C (390°F) for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s recipe in How to Eat.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

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