When the nights start drawing in and the weather turns cooler, you just can’t beat a good old fashioned fruit crumble. My recipe for classic apple and blackberry crumble combines Bramley (cooking) and eating apples with a crunchy, brown sugar oat crumble topping.
As soon as Autumn leaves begin to fall, I can’t get enough of baking with apples. Whether it’s an old fashioned plum crumble, apple crumble cake, a sticky caramel apple bundt cake or a good old fashioned apple pie, I love them all.
A classic apple crumble has to be the cosiest Autumn comfort food I can think of – add some seasonal blackberries and a crunchy, buttery, oat topping and I’m in heaven.
ingredient list for apple and blackberry crumble
- Apples and blackberries are a classic choice for a crumble. If you don’t have any blackberries, you could use raspberries instead. Or you could omit the berries and make a traditional apple crumble instead.
- soft light brown sugar adds a lovely caramel like sweetness to the apples, but you can swap it for white sugar.
- spices – apple and cinnamon is obviously the obvious (and delicious) choice, but you could also use ground mixed spice, ground ginger or nothing!
- You’ll need cold diced butter for the crumble mix. My preference is salted butter.
- Rolled oats add a lovely crunchy texture to the crumble. I always use Scottish porridge oats. I use rolled oats in my rhubarb and ginger crumble recipe.
- demerara sugar is always my first choice for a crumble topping, but you could use soft light brown sugar instead.
- plain (all purpose) flour adds structure to the crumble mix.
what are the best apples to use in an apple crumble?
Technically you can pretty much use any kind of apples in a crumble, but I don’t think you can beat a cooking apple. Bramley apples are my favourite – they fluff up beautifully in the warmth of the oven.
can I use eating apples in a crumble?
Yes! Any sweet eating apples will work well. Just like in my toffee apple crumble, I often use a 50/50 mixture of cooking and eating apples. If the apples are very sweet, it might be an idea to reduce the sugar by a couple of tablespoons.
how to make apple and blackberry crumble
step one – cook the apples
- Peel, core and cut the apples into quarters, or smaller if your apples are large. Don’t cut them too small or they will disintegrate.
- Grab an oven proof dish with a depth of at least 4 inches. Place the apples inside the dish, sprinkle with the sugar, spices and a little water or apple juice.
- Cook the apples in a preheated oven (180C/160Fan) for around 15-20 minutes or until the apples have softened.
- Alternatively, cook the apples on the hob instead of the oven. Place the sliced apples in a large saucepan with the sugar, spices and water. Cook on a low to medium heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the apples are tender.
- Add the fresh blackberries to the cooked apples. Set aside while you make the crumble.
step two – make the crumble topping
- To make the crumble, place the flour in a medium bowl. Rub the cold diced butter into the flour until you have a breadcrumb like mixture.
- Stir in the oats and the demerara sugar.
- Top the fruit with the crumble mixture. Bake the crumble in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the topping is crisp, and golden and the apple and blackberry filling is hot and bubbling.
- Lots of apple crumble recipes simply require you to place the peeled raw apples in a dish, top it with crumble and bake. I find you get much better results if you cook the apples first.
- I used to cook the apples in a saucepan, but recently I’ve found it much easier to simply soften them in the oven with some sugar and a little squeeze of water or apple juice. If you would rather cook them on the hob/stovetop, please do so.
BAKERS TIP – When making the crumble topping, it’s easier if the butter is cold. I love a really crunchy, nubbly topping and you can’t achieve the same effect with room temperature or warm butter. You are also much more likely to have a soggy crumble topping if you use warm butter!
- I often double the crumble recipe in advance and stash it in my freezer – you know, in case of a crumble emergency!
- I add a handful of oats to the crumble topping – it adds extra crunch and reminds me of flapjacks.
- Don’t have the oven temperature too high – you don’t want to burn the crumble topping. 180C, or 160 Fan is just right. Always go by your own oven though – and if you have reason to think the temperature is off, get yourself an oven thermometer. It’s the only way to know for sure and your baking will be so much better for it.
I don’t think you can beat serving an apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla custard. Pure comfort food! It’s also lovely with pouring cream or a good quality vanilla ice cream. I wouldn’t turn down any of these options!
can you make apple crumble in advance?
Yes, a fruit crumble can easily be made in advance. The cooked and completely cooled fruit filling will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
The crumble mix can also be made ahead. The crumble topping will keep in the fridge for up to three days and will freeze for up to three months. I use small freezer bags for storing crumble mix.
storing apple and blackberry crumble
Any leftover crumble will keep in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, microwave individual portions for a few minutes until piping hot (watch out for hot spots!)
Apple crumble can also be reheated in the oven. Remove the crumble from the fridge and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes to come to room temperature. Cover the top with tin foil and heat for about 20 minutes.
make it gluten free
All you need to do to make a gluten free apple and blackberry crumble is replace the flour and rolled oats for gluten free alternatives.
Make it vegan
To make a vegan apple and blackberry crumble, simply replace the butter for the crumble for a dairy free alternative. Serve the crumble with a oat based cream or custard.
recipes to use up a glut of apples
more classic comforting desserts to try
did you make this recipe?
I really hope you loved it! Let me know what you thought of the recipe by leaving a comment below. If you need any help with the recipe, please just ask and I’ll do my best to help.
- 1kg apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (I use a mixture of Bramley apples and eating apples such as Braeburns, Pink Ladies or Gala)
- 50g soft light brown sugar (if you are using all cooking apples you will need to add a little more sugar)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ground mixed spice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon water or apple juice
- 150g fresh blackberries
- FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
- 150g plain flour
- 100g cold diced butter
- 25g rolled oats
- 50g demerara or soft light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/Gas mark 4.
- Place the peeled and chopped apples in an oven proof, fairly deep dish. Scatter over the sugar, ground cinnamon if using and water or apple juice. Give everything a good stir together (I use my hands) and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the apples have started to soften and caramelise.
- While the apples are in the oven, make the crumble topping. Place the flour in a medium bowl. Rub in the cold diced butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and the brown sugar. Place in the fridge while you're waiting for the apples to cook.
- When the apples have softened and look golden, remove them from the oven. Add the blackberries and scatter over the crumble mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes or until bubbling, golden and the topping is crisp. Serve with custard, ice cream or double (heavy) cream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 7gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g
Calories and Nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be used as indicative figures only.