Apple Crumble

This apple crumble is made with apples tossed in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and covered with an oat and brown sugar top. An easy fall dessert.

A piece of apple crumble topped with vanilla ice cream in a white bowl.

The perfect apple crumble. Each of us tends to carry within us—consciously or unconsciously—a terrifically precise notion of what it ought to be. Oats or just buttery floury sugary goodness. Spices permeating both the apples below and the crumble atop or just one or the other. Nuts or no nuts. Whatever apple crumble means to you, we get it. And we respect it. And we still think you ought to try this apple crumble recipe, which has captured the hearts of many, many who’ve tried it.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Apple Crumble

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 8 to 12 servings
5/5 - 3 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Pollan Family Table cookbook

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  • For the crumble topping
  • For the apple filling


Make the crumble topping

Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C) and adjust a rack to the middle of the oven.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and teaspoon salt. Add the butter and, working with your fingertips, a fork, or a pastry blender, combine the mixture until the crumbs are pea-size. You’ll have more than you need so you can stash half the mixture in a resealable bag and place it in the freezer for another crumble on another day.

Make the apple filling

Toss the apples in a large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, flour or tapioca, and salt and gently toss to combine.

Bake the apple crumble

Spoon the filling into a baking dish, ideally one that’s 11 inches by 7 inches but a dish that’s 9 inches by 13 inches will also work as will a couple 9-inch square baking dishes. Spoon the remaining topping evenly over the fruit filling. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil to catch any spills. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the top is nicely browned, about 1 hour. If the top begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover it with a sheet of foil.

Let the apple crumble rest for maybe 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Originally published November 15, 2015.

Print RecipeBuy the The Pollan Family Table cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    What You Need To Know About Which Apples are Best for Baking

    • How do ya like them apples? Specifically, how do you like them apples in your apple crumble recipe? Here are some of the mixes of varieties our recipe testers tried and found to be terrific:

      Granny Smith and Cortland
      Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith
      Fuji, Gala, Ambrosia, and Granny Smith
      Calvin Blanc, Golden Russet, and Spitzenburg
      Golden Delicious and Red Delicious

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We've made many apple crisp recipes over the years, but this one was unanimously my family's all-time favorite. It's really everything you want in a apple crisp—warm and comforting cinnamon- and ginger-spiced apples and a crisp, crunchy crumble.

    I used a combination of Granny Smith, Gala, and Fuji apples, so the mixture wasn't too tart. I used the spiralizer attachment from KitchenAid, and it cored, peeled, and sliced my 9 medium apples in less than 10 minutes. I was out of dark brown sugar, so I used light brown sugar. The recipe required a larger baking dish than a 9-inch pie plate but smaller than a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, so I found something in between sizes that worked great, approximately 10-1/2-by-5-1/2-by-2-1/2 inches, although I recommend just using whatever looks like it will hold the apples piled at least 2 inches high.

    covered my crumble the last 15 minutes of baking, as the topping was starting to reach a deep brown color. I've made this recipe twice already, and the second time, I just used two medium-sized baking dishes and split the apples between the two dishes. I also tried using 1 cup ratios of flour, oats and brown sugar with 8 tablespoons butter, and there was still plenty of topping to sprinkle over and completely cover the apples in both baking dishes. I served the crumble with vanilla ice cream, and everyone enjoyed it.

    One of my absolute favorite fall desserts is apple crumble or crisp. Featuring an inexpensive, readily available ingredient list and straightforward process, this recipe could easily take the place of my current favorite. A buttery, crisp topping over warm, spiced apples—this recipe takes the classic fall dish and delivers perfection!

    I used a combination of Granny Smith and Cortland apples, which gave a perfect sweet-tart balance and nice baked apple texture. I used all-purpose flour to toss in with the apple mixture.

    For the crumble topping, I found that a pastry cutter worked best to get pea-sized crumbs. I didn't have a dish the size the recipe called for, so I used my 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish with fantastic results. The crumb topping was plenty thick over the apples, and I didn't have any filling bubble over, which made for an easier cleanup. I kept the dish in the oven for exactly 1 hour, which resulted in a perfectly crisp, browned topping and tender apples. I didn't need to cover it with foil to prevent over-browning.

    I let the dish rest for 15 minutes before serving—torture! I served it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heavenly!


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    1. I loved this recipe. It’s now in my top 3 dessert recipes. I used Granny Smith apples for this recipe, added all of the ingredients listed in the recipe, and followed the directions very closely. The dessert turned out to be very tasty, sweet but with a hint of sourness. Thank you so much for the recipe and very detailed instructions!

    2. I made this yesterday, but couldn’t resist making a couple modifications to make it slightly more like the apple crumble I grew up with and while I can’t say if my version was an improvement over the original, it was, however, very, very good.

      And if anyone is wondering what I changed, I zested the lemon and added it to the sliced apples along with the spices and such. I also used all the apple crumble instead of saving and freezing half of it. I put half on the bottom of a 9×13 pan, added all the apples, then put the other half of the crumble on top. It was delicious.

    3. This is a wonderful recipe, but it’s pretty strange that the directions have you make twice the topping that you need.

      1. I can see why you’d think that, Martin, although as a recipe developer I can understand when you get just the right proportions of ingredients and it’s not easy to halve the amounts by common measurements. You don’t want to compromise the quality of the recipe and so you have the home cook set half aside for another day. There are worse things! Crumble topping actually keeps wonderfully in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer and cuts down on the prep time next time you have a crumble craving.

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