This basic apple crumble recipe is the ultimate comfort food dessert. It's just sweet stewed apple with a little cinnamon under a plain buttery crumble topping. It makes no claims to be fancy but it is so so good!
This back to basics apple crumble has just 5 ingredients! Did you hear that? This apple crumble only has 5 ingredients and one of them is optional too.
Plain and simple apple crumble
I love a simple dessert recipe and that is exactly what this crumble recipe is. It doesn't have a fancy topping with oats, nuts or special flours. Oh no, it's just the absolute classic apple crumble recipe, the recipe your granny might have made or the one you had at school.
What are the ingredients?
All you need for this apple crumble is
- apples - I like to use sweet apples so there is no need to add sugar to the fruit. I especially like using Braeburns.
- cinnamon - optional but it goes brilliantly with the apple.
- plain flour - You can use a mix of white and wholemeal. Why not use some buckwheat flour?
- sugar - white or soft brown sugar both work well.
- butter - I use unsalted but it's up to you.
There is something incredibly comforting about that basic crumble recipe and although you can jazz it up in all kinds of ways, for many people, the basics are the best.
My lovely husband is one of those people. He definitely prefers a sweet and simple crumble over a more creative one. Now, I can see what he means and although I would not turn down any kind of crumble, there is definitely a time for simple where crumbles are concerned.
What is the basic crumble topping?
The basic crumble topping is equal quantities of sugar and butter and twice as much flour. There are a few variations but I've found that ratio works well for me.
If you do want to add extra ingredients such as oats, you will need a little more butter. If you have a sweet tooth and want a sweeter topping, then add an extra 25g of sugar.
Is there a secret ingredient?
There is just one way I always like to jazz this up. For me basic stewed apple is even better with just a little cinnamon. I love to sprinkle a teaspoon of ground cinnamon over the apples as they cook. It's just the ideal flavour match for apple.
However, that is just my opinion. This is a basic paired back crumble recipe so don't feel you have to include it. If you miss it out you'll still have an absolutely delicious crumble dessert.
What to serve with apple crumble?
Apple crumble and custard is the absolute classic combination. I love a thick warm custard with my crumble However, I can happily eat it with vanilla ice cream or even yogurt. Some people love it with cream, either whipped cream or pouring cream. You decide!
Can you adapt this basic apple crumble recipe?
Of course you can adapt this recipe. The recipe is really simple so it's a great one to start with and then switch different ingredients in and out.
You can change the crumble topping by adding oats or nuts. You also add a sprinkle of demerara sugar on the top for an extra sugary crunch.
After every thing I've already said about the basic topping being the best for lots of people, I'd completely understand if you don't want to change it!
However, as far as the fruit goes, there are so many more crumbles than just apple. You can use plums, rhubarb, gooseberries, blackberries, pears, apricots or peaches. I've even seen a pineapple crumble!
Feel free to experiment with different fruit. With some fruits you will need to add extra sugar depending on their natural sweetness.
Storing and reheating
Once cooked, this crumble will keep well in the fridge for about 48 hours. You may just find the crumble topping goes a little soggy though.
The best way to reheat a crumble is in the oven so that the topping crisps up again. Cover the top with some foil so the fruit doesn't dry out. You can also reheat it in the microwave it for a short time.
Can you prep apple crumble in advance?
Yes, you can make the crumble and then store it for a couple of days in the fridge before baking or freeze the uncooked crumble for up to three months.
It's great to do this if you want to increase the quantities and prepare 2 or 3 crumbles at once so you've got a couple of easy homemade desserts in the freezer.
More Fruity Desserts
Basic Apple Crumble Recipe
- 6 sweet apples peeled, cored and diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Optional
- 160 g flour
- 80 g butter
- 80 g sugar
- preheat the oven to 180°c (170°c fan)
- Peel and core the apples then cut into cubes. Put in a saucepan with about 30ml of water. Sprinkle with the cinnamon. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour. When is it like breadcrumbs, add the sugar and mix in.
- Put the apples into an ovenproof dish. Cover with the crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Serve warm with custard or ice-cream.