The ultimate comfort dessert—apple crumble. There’s nothing simpler to whip up after dinner. The humble combo of apples, oats, butter, and cinnamon has been around forever and still works. Why argue with perfection?
The simplicity of apple crumble is what first attracted me to make it. The fewer ingredients the better, and for a first-time baker (which I was at the time) it’s a flawless recipe, too. It was the first dessert I ever made for my boyfriend at the time. I had him at the first mouthful, not only because of the combination of sugar and butter (which caramelizes in the oven) but also because everybody loves crumble and, frankly, our relationship would have been over if he didn’t!–Charlotte Ree
CAN I MAKE DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF APPLE CRUMBLE?
Charlotte Ree herself suggests a few fruit combos that she often likes to make instead of apple—apple and pear being one, and strawberry rhubarb being another favorite. A handful of fresh berries also make a terrific addition. She also suggests that you can split the ingredients and make 2 smaller crumbles, flavored any way you like. Genius, right?
For the apple filling
- 2 pounds Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the topping
- 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or blitz granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup rolled oats
- Ice cream custard, or heavy whipping cream, to serve
Prepare the apple filling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl, combine the apple slices, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Transfer to a 6-cup (1.5-liter) baking dish.
Make the topping
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and oats. Pour the butter into the bowl and mix well.
- Using your hands or a spoon, sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the filling until your apples are covered. Bake until the crumble is golden and the apples are tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: If your baking dish seems very full, bake it on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips.
- Serve warm with ice cream, custard, or cream. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is as quintessential of an apple crumble recipe as you can get. It has the standard apple pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), ample amounts of butter and sugar, tons of texture from the rolled oats, and naturally, plenty of apple goodness. This is also an excellent one-bowl dessert if you clean it down in between making the filling and topping and whipped cream, so the mess is kept at a minimum.
I loved the simplicity of this apple crumble recipe. I always like a crumble and I like to find new better recipes for crumbles. My tip would be to slice the apple into a bowl of water that has had a squeeze of lemon added to it to stop the apple from browning before all of the pieces have been cut.
I served the crumble with caramel ice cream. When I had made the topping, I thought the mixture was very doughy, not crumbly at all. The mixture was hard to spread over the apple because it was clumpy and only barely covered all of the apples. The crumble was golden brown after 35 minutes of cooking.
Originally published May 28, 2021