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Best Apple Crumble

This is the best apple crumble recipe you’ll ever try! Apple crumble has been a family favourite in our home for years.  It’s a delicious, easy, no-fuss recipe that can be thrown together at the last minute. This dessert is as popular with adults as it is with children, and we’re sure it will become a favourite in your family too.

Selecting Apples for the Best Apple Crumble

There are no right or wrong apples for making apple crumble. Sometimes we have made our apple crumble with a mixture of whatever happens to be in the fruit bowl. However, there are some key things you should know before selecting apples.

The sweeter the apple, the more the slices will hold their shape when cooked. If you want a soft purée-like filling, granny smith apples are best. Granny smith apples can be quite tart, depending on the season. We recommend cooking them with 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, as per the recipe. If you’re using a sweeter apple such as golden delicious, they may need no sugar at all. This will also depend on how sweet you like your filling. The crumble in this recipe is quite sweet, so less sweetness is needed from the apples.

Granny smith apples to make best apple crumble

To Peel or not to Peel?

Some people leave the skins on their apples. Others prefer them peeled. There are no rules here. It really is down to personal preference. Leaving the skins on the apples gives your apple filling more texture. It also adds a freshness to the taste. We usually peel the majority of the apples and leave just one or two unpeeled.

The apples can be grated instead of peeled if you are in a hurry. They will cook faster this way.

Changing it Up

Think of this apple crumble recipe is a basic guide. Make it your own by:

  • adding raspberries, pitted cherries or blackberries to the apples if they are in season
  • swapping the apples for pears or plums, or using a mix of two or three fruits. Note that you may need to adjust the sweetness levels.
  • adding some pieces of rhubarb to the apples
  • play around with the nut combinations you use, or use all one kind of nut
  • make it gluten-free by using gluten-free flour, omitting the rolled oats, or swapping them for quinoa flakes.
  • make it vegan by swapping the butter for vegan spread such as Nuttelex

Best Apple Crumble

A delicious, no-fuss dessert that can be thrown together at the last minute and popped into the oven while you enjoy your main course.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: apples, autumn, autumn recipe, comfort food, easy, easy dessert, family favourite, family friendly, quick, sweet
Servings: 6 people


  • Food processor optional


For the apple filling

  • 4–6 large apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2–3 TBS brown sugar optional – see notes
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 knob salted butter optional

For the crumble topping

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup mixed chopped nuts, eg. walnuts, hazelnuts raw and unsalted


For the apples

  • Preheat oven to 190°c
  • Place sliced apples in a deep-sided baking dish or pie dish. Toss in the brown sugar and drop in the cloves. If using butter, break the knob of butter into several small pieces and dot it around the dish.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes, or until apples are beginning to soften and the sugar mixture is caramelised. Remove from oven.

To prepare the crumble

  • While the apples are cooking, make your crumble topping. Place flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor if you have one. Process until the mixture is crumbly. If you don't have a food processor, this can be done in a large bowl. Rub the ingredients together between your fingers until the mixture resembles damp crumbs.
  • Add rolled oats and chopped nuts and pulse once or twice to combine. If you're doing this by hand, mix the oats and nuts in by hand.
  • Spread crumble over par-cooked apples and return to the oven. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until crumble is golden and apples are cooked through.
  • Serve with cream, ice cream or custard. Leftovers are delicious for breakfast served with Greek-style yoghurt.


If using a sweeter variety of apple for this recipe, you can omit the sugar from the apple mixture. There is still sugar in the crumble topping, which will deliver plenty of sweetness

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