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How to Make a Traditional English Apple Crumble

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Yummy!

Yummy!

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble is a firm favourite in our household; my daughters demanded the recipe as soon as they had their own homes, friends have asked for the recipe and even our neighbours in France have asked for it (I had to learn new vocab for that one!).

It's a great family dessert, it's simple, most people like apples and you can serve it hot or cold, with a variety of accompaniments.

I hope you have fun making it and that you and yours enjoy eating it.

Bon Appetit!

Basic Information

The measurements for the crumble mix are in the ratio of 2:1:1½ (flour:butter:sugar)

  • This size will serve 8 average portions.
  • Cooking temp: 180°C
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes (can be prepared ahead)
  • Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes: check that it's golden brown on top, leave a little longer if you want it really crunchy

Utensils and Ingredients

Utensils:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large oven-proof bowl
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Metal tablespoon
  • Peeler
  • Sharp knife

Ingredients:

  • 3 Bramley apples, large
  • 12 ounces plain flour, or a mix of flour and oats 2:1 (i.e. 8 ounces flour, 4 ounces oats)
  • 6 ounces butter or margarine (I use margarine because the texture seems better for the mix, but it depends on individual taste)
  • 9 ounces granulated sugar (if you prefer, have a mix of granulated and demerara sugar, to make the crumble crisper)
  • 4 tablespoons extra demerara to add to apples and sprinkle on top (to taste)

Method

For the apple:

  • Peel and chop apples (very small if you want a compôte, larger if you want soft slices).
  • Place in a large saucepan with a splash of water and 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar.
  • Bring the pan to a boil, stirring frequently to stop sugar ‘catching’ on the bottom.
  • Simmer until the apple is cooked to the required consistency; add sugar if needed but not too much as the sweet crumble counteracts well the tartness of the apples.
  • Pour mixture into a large oven-proof bowl (about a third up the bowl, leaving room for lots of crumble!).
  • Set aside ready for crumble (you can keep this in the fridge overnight); allow to cool if using straight away.

For the crumble:

  • Put flour in a large bowl. Add the oats if you wish for a healthier, slightly drier crumble.
  • Add butter/margarine and chop it up as small as possible.
  • Using fingertips, mix together until it all resembles small breadcrumbs (the crumble).
  • Add sugar and mix in well turning over and over with a spoon until completely integrated.
  • Cover the mixture and set aside (this can be kept overnight in a cool place—not the fridge—if you want to prepare in advance, then just run a fork through it to ‘unstick’ any lumps).

Photo Guide

Chopped apples ready to boil

Chopped apples ready to boil

Apples ready to receive the crumble

Apples ready to receive the crumble

Texture of flour, margarine and sugar

Texture of flour, margarine and sugar

Crumble mix onto apple.

Crumble mix onto apple.

We like more crumble than apple but that's up to you!

We like more crumble than apple but that's up to you!

Sprinkle demerara on top before cooking.

Sprinkle demerara on top before cooking.

Get Ready for Cooking!

  • Carefully spoon crumble over the apple.
  • Smooth the surface with a metal spoon and push sideways gently to seal the edges to prevent any apple from bubbling through when cooking.
  • Sprinkle demerara on top, to make it more crunchy (optional).
  • Place in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for 35 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the oven and whether or not convection.
  • Remove when browned and crunchy on top (even a little singed at the edges if you like it gooey!).
  • Serve immediately with hot custard, ice cream or double cream.

Enjoy!!

Crunchy and brown at the edges, ready to serve with . . . ?

Crunchy and brown at the edges, ready to serve with . . . ?

Quick, before it all goes!

Quick, before it all goes!

Try These Variations

Alternatives:

  • You can of course use any fruit and you can add cinnamon to the apple if you wish.
  • Add blackberries to the apple for a sharper taste (but not good for dentures! Oops, should I say that?!)
  • Strawberry and rhubarb make an excellent combination.
  • Plums are great too, especially Victorias.

Many people have their own favourite version of this dish but I'd like to invite you to share mine, on a balmy September day, under the shade of the Lime in France, with a good sparkling wine or Champagne if you're celebrating (no, actually—who needs an excuse?—have Champagne anyway!). For the youngsters, the TTs, the drivers, there's an excellent stock of non-alcoholic alternatives. What a great party that would be!

Cheers! A Votre Santé! Salut! A la vôtre!

© 2012 Ann Carr