This is a divine Apple Crumble recipe with just the best nubbly and crunchy crumble topping. It is a great dessert for feeding a crowd and can be made ahead and reheated for easy entertaining. Plus it makes your kitchen smell absolutely heavenly.
This is an old fashioned Apple Crumble recipe without oats. I prefer mine fuss free and simple with only a few ingredients. Crumbles are a relatively recent addition to our culinary culture. Apparently they were invented in Ireland around the time of World War II when rationing meant a real shortage of pastry ingredients. What fantastic thrifty ingenuity to create such a delicious dessert from hardship.
Provenance aside I adore a good apple crumble recipe and how it makes my kitchen smell. All that spiced buttery and sugary just baked aroma wafting from the oven, inviting all in sniffing distance for a crumble cuddle.
I have felt like the best Mum EVER this week handing out bowls of spiced apple warmth drowned in Easter yellow custard to my ankle biters. “Watch out it’s hot!” I advised as “Storm Gareth” buffeted the house around us, their happy faces wide eyed at their steaming bowls of sugary, nubbly crumble and custard. Normally they only get an ice pop……..
Cinnamon spiced apple is one of my most favourite flavour combos. It touches my taste buds in a primitive way, instant gratification almost without thought and I can’t get enough of it in all it forms. But it is perhaps in this, it’s ultimate comfort food guise, that I love it the most and trialling my recipes this week has left my freezer, belly and heart full with love.
I’m telling you, I’ve been living The Walton’s Dream. So much pudding so little time. John Boy even got a bowl…….Apple Crumble apparently = family unity…who knew? Get baking….
How To Make Apple Crumble
It also uses few and very simple ingredients.
I tend to use 800 grams from my Stewed Apples recipe. But I have given you the recipe for this apple pudding separately here.
I like to use cinnamon but you of course, can leave it out. But for me the two are always best paired.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it easily reheats very well in the microwave for leftovers in the days after.
- I peel and chop the cooking apples into roughly 2 cm chunks and add to a large saucepan. I sprinkle over the cinnamon and then tip in the water.
- You want to bring the apple mixture up to a simmer for about 15 minutes. I stir it every minute or so to make sure it isn’t catching on the bottom and to encourage the apple to break down a little. I like to have about half puree and half intact apple chunks.
- Stir through the butter.
- I tip the apples into my baking dish. I use one that is about 22 cm x 15 cm . It should be roughly this size. Too small and the crumble can be stodgy and much bigger and it won’t layer up nicely.
- Do add more sugar if your stewed apples need it. Apples sharpness can vary greatly and you may need more sugar sometimes.
- To make the crumble topping the easiest way is to use a food processor. A couple of pulses and the butter is rubbed in perfectly. I love it deeply it’s so incredibly easy and fast. However it is also fine to rub in the cold butter using just your fingers.
- You are after a breadcrumb vibe. When you have that going on then stir the sugar through.
- If you like a crunchy crumble top you can always give your crumble topping a quick toast on a baking tray.
- About ten minutes at 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4. Keep an eye on it though as it can easily catch. You want lightly coloured. Let it cool and then break it up with a fork.
- If you have pre baked your topping then heat the apples up in the dish covered in tin foil for about 15 minutes at 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4 and then remove the tin foil, check it’s hot enough and sprinkle over the toasted crumble. Pop it back in the oven for another 10/15 minutes then serve as normal.
- If not toasting the crumble beforehand then scatter the crumble topping over the stewed apples.
- Bake for 35/45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. The cooking time can vary depending on how hot your apples were going into the oven, the actual temperature of your oven and what sort and size your dish is.
- Smaller than my noted size dish will have a thicker layer of crumble and so will take longer to bake through and the crumble may still be under baked in places. As a rough guide you are looking for the crumble topping to be about 1/4 the depth of the apple mixture.
- Just use your common sense and don’t be afraid to get it out and have a little scrape of the crumble particularly in the middle.
- To get ahead then make this crumble up until you are ready to bake and then cover and set aside. If baking the next day then store in the fridge. Remove the cover and bake for 40-50 minutes if straight from the fridge or the recommended standard time if at room temperature.
How To Make Tips
- It is very simple to make it gluten free. You merely substitute the plain flour for gluten free flour.
- I store any left overs in the baking dish simply covered with silver foil. Making sure it is cold I then keep it in the fridge. If there is only a small portion left I would transfer to a smaller bowl.
- I find the best and easiest way to reheat is to cover with clingfilm or a plate and use the microwave. Be careful hot fruit is like lava.
- If you have made the crumble before hand then pop it in the oven at 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 – 30 minutes until piping hot throughout. Use a silver foil hat if it starts to darken too much on top.
- Keep an eye on it in case the top starts to go too dark. You could put a hat of silver foil on top to protect the crumble top or turn down the oven 10 C. I would go with the silver foil hat first. The trick is not to forget it’s in there so set a timer to remind you to check before the time is up.
- Apple Crumble freezes well. I prefer to freeze it unbaked in something like a Pyrex dish and double cover it with silver foil.
- Defrost over night and then bake as normal. Recently I bought some Pyrex dishes with freezer lids. Genius for this sort of thing.
- If I have extra crumble topping left over I will put it in a freezer bag and freeze until I need it. Again I just let it defrost and then use as normal.
I like to eat mine with double cream, a puddle of it. But the rest of my family loves Vanilla Custard. There is of course Vanilla Ice Cream too.
Worth a mention also is Clotted Cream. I’m sure that is a big favourite in a lot of homes everywhere. I can imagine it melting silkily over that lovely crumble right this minute….
- sharp knife, vegetable peeler and a wooden spoon
- large saucepan
- mixing bowl if you are rubbing in by hand
- food processor if you are not rubbing in by hand
- baking dish about 15 x 22 cm
- baking tray if you are pre-baking your crumble
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE THEN YOU MAY LIKE THESE
This Apple Crumble recipe is just delicious. Made with only a few ingredients it is comfort food at it's best. Perfect for feeding a crowd too.
- 1 kg cooking apples I prefer Bramleys
- 150 grams unrefined caster sugar standard is fine too.
- 25 grams unsalted butter
- 50 mls water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 140 grams plain flour
- 90 grams unsalted butter
- 80 grams unrefined sugar
Pre heat your oven to 180 C. Peel and core your apples. Chop into roughly 2 cm pieces. Place in a large saucepan. Add your sugar and water and heat over a medium heat for about 15 minutes and the apples are half puree. Stir through the butter.
Empty into your chosen baking dish and set aside. Put the butter and flour into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor. Whizz the food processor until you have breadcrumbs and if rubbing the butter in by hand then rub in until you have the same. Stir through the sugar.
Scatter the crumble on top. Ideally you want about half of the depth of the apples. Bake in your oven for 30-45 mins or until piping hot and the crumble is baked through enough in the middle.
Apply to Well And Truly Cuddled Face
Make sure you baking dish is roughly 15 x 22 cm
Check your crumble top is cooked enough in the middle.
Taste your apple mixture thoroughly and add more sugar if you need to.
Double the recipe to feed up to 12 people. Increase the dish size too! You are looking for the crumble topping to be about 1/4 the depth of the apple mixture.