Apple Crumble

by Alonzo Cantu September 08, 2020 4 min read

Apple Crumble

Apple crumble is the perfect dessert for summer nights and cool fall evenings. Topped with vanilla ice cream, this apple crumble is the tastiest combination of hot and cold!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Vanilla

The Topping:

Crumble topping, or streusel topping, is one of my favorite ways to top a fruit pie or dessert. The crumble adds a crispy, cookie-like texture that goes perfectly with warm, soft fruit fillings. It is also very simple to make and does not require any rolling or cutting like a full or lattice crust does. 

To make the crumble topping, I use a method similar to how I make biscuits and pie dough. Start by grating 1 stick of cold butter into a bowl using a cheese grater. If you do not have a cheese grater, just cut the butter into small cubes. I just personally like how fast and easy the cheese grater cuts the butter.

Next, add ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp vanilla to the grated butter. Using your hands or a fork, combine all the ingredients together. Put the dough in a food safe container and pack the dough together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use. When the crumble topping is ready to use, break the dough into different size pieces. Do not worry if there are fine crumbs. These are perfect for filling in any empty spots!

The Process:

Whether I’m making apple pie, apple crumble, or any apple related dessert, I prefer for the apples to be very tender. For this reason, I pre-cook the filling before baking it. This is just personal preference, so you do not have to do this if you like your apples to have more of a “bite” to it.

Start by peeling the apples. I use Granny Smith apples because they are perfect for baking. Once they have been peeled, quarter the apples and remove the core. Dice the apples (about ½” pieces). In a large pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add the apples and cook for about 5-6 minutes until they start to become tender. They don’t need to cook all the way, but enough to make sure they become fully tender in the oven. 

Next, add 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. I prefer to use granulated sugar as opposed to brown sugar because I don’t like to mask the flavor of the apples too much. Once the sugar is added, you will notice a lot of moisture coming out of the apples, so after a couple minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Start with the 2 tablespoons and if the filling seems too loose, add the third tablespoon. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes and remove from the heat. Take a second to taste the filling. If you think it needs more sugar, now is the time to add it.

You can bake the apple crumble in practically any baking dish: rectangular, round, or ramekins. Roll out some pie dough and it would be perfect for an apple crumble pie. For this recipe, I used an 8” cast iron pan. When cutting the apples, it looks like way too much for an 8” cast iron. However, since we precooked the filling, the apples cook down and fit perfectly in the end.

Lightly spray the cast iron or baking dish with baking spray. Scoop the filling into the baking dish. Top with the chilled crumble topping. As mentioned before, break the crumble into random sized chunks, using the crumbs to fill in any gaps.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch anything that might fall over. For this recipe, I used my Traeger Ironwood 650 with cherry pellets, however, this recipe is perfectly fine baked in the oven. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Crumble Topping

Prep Time: 5 minutes



1 stick (1/2 cup)

Unsalted Butter, chilled

¼ cup

Brown sugar

¼ cup

Granulated sugar

1 cup

All-purpose flour

¾ tsp


½ tsp


  1. Using a cheese grater with the largest holes, grate cold stick of butter into a bowl.
  2. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla to the butter and combine using your hands or a fork.
  3. Pack the dough together in a container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  4. When ready to use, crumble the chilled dough on top.


Apple Crumble
Prep Time: 30 minutes    Bake Time: 45-50 minutes
Makes: 6 Servings
8 cups (@ 5 large apples)
Granny Smith Apples
4 Tablespoons
Unsalted butter
1/3 cup 
Granulated Sugar
½ tsp
Ground Cinnamon
2-3 Tablespoons
All-purpose flour
1 recipe
Crumble Topping, chilled
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skins of the apples. Remove the core using an apple corer or a knife. Dice the apples into about ½” cubes.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add the diced apples. Cook the apples for about 5-6 minutes until they start to become tender. 
  3. Once the apples start to become tender, add 1/3 cup of sugar and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. You will notice a lot of moisture coming from the apples after the sugar is added. Add 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir. Start with 2 tablespoons, and if the filling is still too runny, add another tablespoon. Cook for 2-3 more minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Pour the filling into a baking dish lightly sprayed with baking spray. (If you plan on making the filling ahead of time, let it cool before storing in the refrigerator.)
  5. Top the filling with the chilled crumble topping. Break the topping into different sizes and use the finer crumbs to fill in any gaps until the apple filling is completely covered.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Alonzo Cantu
Alonzo Cantu

1 Response


October 23, 2020

I am gonna try to make these when we get home. We don’t get Granny Smith’s here :(

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