Gran’s Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

My Gran’s tried and tested apple crumble recipe is like a giant hug in a bowl! With a perfectly flavoured cinnamon apple filling and mountains of crispy crumble topping, you really can’t go wrong with this comforting, easy to make recipe. (Add some homemade custard and you’re onto a real winner!)

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

You may know my Gran from previous posts such as Gran’s epic cheese scones, Gran’s incredible ham and cheese quiche and how to pickle beetroot. I think it’s safe to say that my Gran is an actual living legend. It’s also worth pointing out that almost all her recipes are in her head, which made it all the more important to me to immortalise them on Kitchen Mason!

Apple crumble in a dish with two forks rested on top set over a blue linen napkin.

Despite Gran being more of a pastry fan than crumble, she still has a fantastic recipe that’s served her well over the years. She quite often adds a few blackberries too but I thought I’d stick to a simple apple crumble recipe for now.

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

What apples are the best for apple crumble?

According to Gran, firm apples with a sharp flavour are the best – the most common being Bramley apples. You could also use Granny Smith apples if you like.

Apple crumble in a dish with two forks rested on top set over a blue linen napkin. A white jug filled with custard sits in the background.

What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?

Apple crumble is a dessert using fresh apples that’s topped with a sweet, almost ‘cakey’ crunchy topping. Apple crisp is also a dessert using fresh apples but the topping quite often includes oats to make it more crispy. 

Gran’s apple crumble recipe is a hybrid of both. It’s a typical crumble recipe with a small amount of oats for added crunch.

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard, set over a blue linen napkin.

What size should I slice my apples?

This is where mine and Gran’s opinions differ. Gran likes her apples to have a bit of crunch whereas I like mine to be soft. If you’re like Gran and you want yours to have a crunch, slice/cut your apples quite thick. If, like me, you like yours soft (this is quite often the best option for fussy eaters who struggle with texture), slice your apples thinly. 

Apple crumble in a dish with two forks rested on top set over a blue linen napkin with a cooking apple in the background.

Apple crumble ingredients

Here’s all you need to know about the ingredients needed for this recipe…

  • Butter – Always use cold unsalted butter when making a crumble.
  • Sugar – I like brown sugar in with the apples and caster sugar in the crumble. Both will work just fine in the filling and the topping though.
  • Flour – Use plain (all purpose) flour only in crumble. We don’t want it to rise, we want it to crisp!
  • Salt – Salt is salt. Table is absolutely fine!
  • Oats – Small rolled oats work best rather than the chunkier varieties.
  • Apples – Bramley cooking apples or Granny Smith work best. Failing that, use a firm, tart apple.
  • Vanilla – I always use Nielssen Massey for it’s superior quality and flavour.
  • Cinnamon – A little ground cinnamon goes a long way in this recipe! Don’t skip it, it’s divine.

 

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

How to make apple crumble

  1. Peel, core and slice your apples. Mix with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and water in a bowl.
  2. Rub together butter, sugar, flour and salt to make a crumble. Add oats and stir through.
  3. Butter a dish, fill with the apples and top with the crumble.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in the oven.
  5. Allow to cool a little before serving.

 

Apple crumble in a dish with two forks rested on top set over a blue linen napkin.

Apple crumble recipe tips

Here’s a few helpful hints and tips to help you get Gran’s apple crumble recipe right first time.

  • The thinner you slice your apples, the faster they will cook/softer they will become.
  • If you like crunchy apples in your crumble, slice them quite thick.
  • If you like a soft apple filling in your crumble, slice them thinly.
  • Put a tray under your crumble dish in the oven, just in case there are any leaks/spills.
  • Using a pastry blender will make quick and easy work of the crumble! (That’s Gran’s top tip!)
  • ‘Low and slow’ cooking is best. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the cooking time.
  • Bake on the bottom of the oven so the crumble cooks through but doesn’t burn the crumble topping.

 

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard, set over a blue linen napkin.

Why is my crumble topping not crunchy?

There are many reasons this can happen…

  1. Your ratios were wrong and you used too much butter vs. flour and sugar.
  2. Did you skip adding the oats? These help to give a crunchier topping.
  3. Your butter wasn’t cold. It MUST be cold when you make a crumble topping!
  4. Your hands were warm when you made the crumble and this warmed up the butter. Use a pastry blender or rinse your hands in cold water before to avoid this.
  5. Your oven temperature could be wrong.

 

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

 

Other recipes you might like

 

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

Gran’s Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

Here is what you will need to serve 4

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

For the Filling

  • 575g (20.3 oz) Cooking Apples, peeled cored and sliced thinly *
  • 2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Water

 

For the Crumble Topping

  • 85g (2/3 Cup) Plain / All Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 60g (1/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) Caster Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 tbsp Oats

 

*if you prefer your apples to have a little crunch, slice them thicker

 

Essential Equipment

  • 18cm (7″) Baking Dish
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Pastry Blender #

 

#optional but very handy!

 

First, preheat your oven to 190ºC/180ºC Fan/374ºF and generously grease you baking dish.

Then mix together the cooking apples (575g | 20.3 oz), brown sugar (2 tbsp), vanilla (1 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp) and water (1 tbsp) in a mixing bowl and set to one side.

Sliced apples in a glass bowl with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and water

Sliced apples in a glass bowl with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and water all mixed together

To make the crumble, add the flour (85g | 2/3 Cup), salt (pinch), caster sugar (60g | 1/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) and cold cubed butter (60g | 1/4 Cup) into the other mixing bowl.

Butter, sugar, salt and flour in a glass bowl

Now you can do this one of two ways. You can rub the mixture between your forefingers and thumbs until it resembles a crumbly consistency OR you can use a pastry blender instead (which I find quicker and much less hassle!).

Either way, don’t over mix it – keep going just until the ingredients look like a nice crumble consistency.

Crumble mixture in a glass bowl with a pastry blender

Next, add in the oats (2 tbsp) and give it a brief stir through.

Crumble mixture with oats in a glass bowl with a pastry blender

Crumble in a glass bowl

Your crumble is now ready to assemble! Tip the apple mixture into your greased dish and flatten out as best as you can.

Sliced marinated apples in a dish

Now carefully top with your crumble. Don’t worry if it seems quite high for the dish – it will sink during cooking.

Apple crumble in a dish

All that remains to do is sprinkle a little extra sugar on top (I like to use brown but you can use regular caster if you like) and place it onto a baking tray – just in case there’s any leaks.

 

Apple crumble in a dish set on a baking tray ready to go in the oven

Place it onto the bottom shelf in your oven and bake for around 50 minutes, until golden on top. Give it a check around the 40/45 minute mark as all ovens vary.

Baked apple crumble in a dish set on a baking tray

Oh my life YUM!! Your kitchen should be smelling pretty incredible round about now! Leave your crumble to cool for a little, say 15 mins or so, then serve.

My favourite apple crumble pairing is custard but you could also enjoy it with cream or ice cream.

Apple crumble in a dish with two forks rested on top set over a blue linen napkin with a cooking apple in the background.

Have you made this recipe?

Have you made this super comforting apple crumble recipe? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard, set over a blue linen napkin.

Like baking to be as simple as possible?

You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Products That Make Baking Easier!

 

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Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard. There's a white jug of custard in the background and a blue linen napkin under the bowl.

Slice of apple crumble in a small white bowl with a fork, drizzled with custard, set over a blue linen napkin.

Gran's Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A giant hug in a bowl - my Gran's tried and tested apple crumble recipe is comforting, delicious and really easy to make!

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 575g (20.3 oz) Cooking Apples, peeled cored and sliced thinly *
  • 2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Water

For the Crumble Topping

  • 85g (2/3 Cup) Plain / All Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 60g (1/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) Caster Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 60g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 tbsp Oats

Essential Equipment

  • 18cm (7″) Baking Dish
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Pastry Blender #

Instructions

  1. Generously grease your baking dish and preheat your oven to 190ºC/180ºC Fan/374ºF.
  2. To make the filling, mix the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and water together in a bowl then leave to marinate while you make the crumble.
  3. To make the crumble, put the flour, salt, sugar and cubed cold butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture together between your forefingers and thumbs until it forms a crumble. (You could also use a pastry blender to make this process quicker and easier.)
  4. Spread the apples out evenly in the greased dish and top with the crumble. (It will sink during cooking so don't worry if it seems too full.)
  5. Sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top, I like to use brown but caster works well too.
  6. Bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for 50 mins until golden and cooked through. Check your crumble during the last 10 mins of cooking as all ovens vary.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 mins then serve with custard, cream or ice cream.

Notes

*if you prefer your apples to have a little crunch, slice them thicker

#optional but very handy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 352Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 4gSugar: 36gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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2 thoughts on “Gran’s Easy Apple Crumble Recipe”

  1. I love anything crisp or crumble so this is perfect! Thanks for sharing gran’s recipe! How perfect that o read this on grandparents day too <3

    1. Emma says:

      Aww that IS perfect!! Thank you for your kind words Zully 🙂 Emma x

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.