A simple and easy apple crumble recipe, this classic dessert is bursting with apples and has a crunchy and satisfying topping. Serve it with custard or ice cream for the ultimate comfort food that everyone will love.
Every year there's one dessert that my husband will request and it's this humble apple crumble. We enjoy crumble in all its forms, be it rhubarb or blackberry.
But if you ask me, a simple apple crumble served piping hot from the oven with a dollop of vanilla ice cream really hits the spot.
It's so easy to make this crumble you'll pull the recipe out of the bag season after season - just like I do.
Apple Crumble without oats
There are many ways to make a crumble and believe me I've tried a lot of them.
Lots of recipes call for the addition of oats to the topping however I find that ground almonds work much better here, the resulting crumble topping is buttery and crunchy and not at all stodgy or claggy.
Add too much topping, especially laden with oats and the proportions will be off. You'll end up with a thick crumble top that doesn't marry with the apples below and nobody wants that, do they?!
Which apples are best for crumble?
I like to use two variations of apple in my crumbles. I will always opt for about half Bramley apples. A Bramley is very similar to a Granny Smith - it has a stronger, more tangy taste and is an ideal cooking apple.
The other half is usually made up of apples from my mother in law's orchard. However this year it must be having a dormant year because the apple trees there are bare.
Instead, I went with the Golden Delicious variety. I LOVE Golden Delicious apples because they are really tasty without being too sharp. The balance of flavour is perfect and they pair so well with Bramley apples.
How to make the perfect crumble topping
We've discussed using ground almonds over oats but have you ever found your topping to be too thick, uncooked in some parts and stodgy and unpalatable in others?
It's probably because a recipe method has advised you to firmly pack the topping on top of the apples, which is a big no-no if you're trying to achieve the best ever crumble!
To get the topping right you first need to prepare the fruit properly. This doesn't mean cooking the apples into a sauce first. You'll only need to stew your apples on the hob for 5 minutes or so and you don't need to add water.
I like to add some lemon zest to the apples and enough sugar to make them sweet but not overly so.
Once you've softened the apples you're ready to make the topping.
Whenever I make crumble (or pastry) I like to use my fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture. You could use a pastry cutter or food processor if you like, although I've never bothered this method.
Using your fingertips, rub the mixture until it resembles lumpy boulders as opposed to breadcrumbs.
When it's time to add the crumble topping heap it on top of the prepared apples using a spoon and don't be tempted to press it down.
I know some people advise squeezing over golden syrup or piling yet more sugar on top but I advise against this. Not only would it make your crumble too sweet the sugar will burn and it will taste bitter.
Bake the apple crumble in the oven for 30-40 minutes. When it's ready it will be golden and bubbling on top where the apple juices below have burst through the crumble topping.
See? I told you it was easy!
More Tempting Dessert Recipes
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Simple and Easy Apple Crumble
For the apples
- 750 g Bramley apples
- 750 g Golden Delicious apples
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 lemon zested
For the crumble topping
- 110 g plain flour
- 110 g caster sugar
- 110 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 175 g unsalted butter cold, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180C Fan/400°F/Gas 6.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Put the apples, sugar and lemon zest into a saucepan put a lid on and cook for 5 minutes.
- Put the flour, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and mix together.
- Add the butter and work the mixture using your fingertips until it resembles lumpy boulders.
- Transfer the apples to an ovenproof dish and heap the topping on using a spoon.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 mins or until golden and bubbling.
- Serve warm with cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.
- Use a mixture of apples for different flavours and texture
- You can leave the skin on the apples if wish
- Don't add water when you stew the apples
- Don't pack the crumble topping on the apples or press it down