Need to use up some apples? Try this easy apple crumble recipe!
Between the tender apples and sweet buttery topping, it tastes like fall in a bowl.
It’s best served warm and is kind of like apple crisp and cobbler. So if those are your go-to autumn desserts, you have to try it!
Easy Apple Crumble
Not all crumbles are created equal. And this easy apple crumble recipe proves it.
The apple filling has a fabulously thick and saucy finish.
Meanwhile, the sugar and cinnamon-spiced apples are perfectly tender. One bite, and you’ll swoon.
But the best part is the crumble! it strikes the perfect balance between crisp, soft, and chewy.
It’s not runny, gloopy, or dry. Every bite is just right.
Make it, and watch it disappear!
What’s the Difference Between a Cobbler, Crumble, and Crisp?
Cobbler, crumble, and crisp desserts are arguably similar. They’re fruity, delectable, and easy-to-make crowd-pleasers.
But they are NOT the same.
And the reason for that is the topping:
- Cobblers traditionally have a biscuit topping, like this strawberry cobbler. You can also use scones or cake mix, like in this cherry cobbler with cake mix.
- Crumble topping is a clumpy mixture of flour, butter, and sugar. You crumble it over the top of the fruity filling and it bakes until golden.
- Crisps usually have an oat topping enhanced by a little flour. This peach crisp recipe is a fantastic example.
I know what you’re thinking – there are oats in this crumble!
Guilty! I really enjoy the added chewy texture, so I always add them.
They’re totally optional, though, so feel free to leave them out and make it a “real” crumble.
- All-Purpose Flour- This forms the base of the crumble. Also, it helps thicken the filling.
- Sugar- You’ll use brown and granulated sugar for this recipe. Brown sugar is for the crumble and the apple filling. White sugar is in the filling only.
- Oats- Again, the oats are optional and not part of a true crumble. But try them if you want more texture.
- Salt and Cinnamon- Salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients while highlighting sweetness. And cinnamon + apples = a no-brainer!
- Butter– To bind the crumble ingredients.
- Apples- It is an apple crumble, after all. Look at the next section for choosing the best apples.
- Lemon Juice- Juice from 1/2 a lemon adds just enough acidity to brighten the dish.
- Vanilla– You can use your favorite extract. I recommend pure extract or vanilla bean paste. Use real vanilla beans if you have them.
In case you’re wondering, I do still consider this a crumble because of the amount of flour.
Crisps have far less flour and lots of oats. The oats are minimal in this recipe, so leaving them out won’t affect the overall dish.
The Best Apples for Crumble
But are they the same?
The best apples for crumble toe the line between tart and sweet. They’re firm enough to hold up to baking but still become tender during cooking.
That said, Honeycrisps are, and will always be, my favorite apple – for baking and snacking.
Some other fantastic varieties include Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Pink Lady, and Northern Spy.
Pick fresh apples with no bruises, soft spots, or holes.
How To Make Apple Crumble
If you can make apple crisp, you can master this crumble recipe.
You’ll find more details at the bottom of the post. But for now, here’s a quick overview:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180°C) and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
2. Prep the apples. Peel, core, and chop them. Then mix them with the other filling ingredients.
3. Make the crumble topping. It should be clumpy, like shaggy shortbread.
4. Assemble and bake. Apples first, then top them with the crumble. Try to spread it evenly to cover the fruit.
5. Bake until the top is crispy and golden, the apples are tender, and the sauce is thick. About 40 minutes.
6. Serve and enjoy! Apple crumble is best warm, right out of the oven. Of course, no apple dessert is complete without a large scoop of ice cream.
Tips and Variations
It may be one of the easiest apple desserts around, but I still have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve:
- Double the crumble! Twice the crumble is twice as nice. Just double the ingredients and use a 9×13 pan.
- To peel or not to peel? I highly recommend peeling the apples. They cook down much better without the skin.
- Is your topping mixture too dry? Add a little more melted butter (or even water) to the mix until it clumps better. Be careful not to add too much, though.
- Switch up the fruits! Are you tired of apples? Peaches, berries, and even rhubarb are fabulous options. Or, you can mix apples and other fruits, such as pears or strawberries.
- Embrace the fall flavors. This pumpkin cobbler tastes like the epitome of fall. But don’t sleep on this pecan pie cobbler, either! Use the fillings and top them with crumble. Yum!
- Go nutty! Add a little crunch with nuts. I love pecans. But you can use almonds, hazelnuts, or any you like.
- Add custard. Did you know that crumble is a classic British dessert? And they almost always have it with creamy, hot custard!
How to Make Ahead and Store
Whether you need to make it ahead for dinner or have leftovers, here’s how to store apple crumble:
To Make Ahead: Fully prepare the crumble as directed up to 24 hours in advance. Cover, then bake when ready to eat – adding 5 minutes to the bake.
Or, make the crumble and box it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then, make the apples and assemble and bake the dish when you’re ready to eat.
To Store: Cover the dish with foil or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Pop it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Reheat: Transfer leftovers to a baking dish or bake in the original dish. Either way, cover it with foil and cook for 15-20 minutes at 350°F.
Note: This crumble does not freeze well.
More Apple Desserts You’ll Love
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