This Apple and Berry Crumble is the perfect dessert for Autumn. It’s fruity, spicy and full of warming spices. One of my favourite desserts is crumble. A crumble recipe can actually be used for most fruits. You simply choose your favourite fruit and replace the apples with your chosen fruit coming up with a new and unique dessert each time. It’s very simple to make, if you just follow these easy steps:
Apple berry crumble
Prep: 10 Minutes – Cook: 60 Minutes – Serves 4Print recipe
Everyone needs a brilliant crumble in their bag of tricks! It’s a crowd-pleasing dessert, and you can even eat the leftovers as an indulgent brekkie granola!
4 Granny Smith apples (about 800g in total), peeled, cored
2 cups frozen mixed berries
⅓ cup caster sugar
Cream, custard or ice‑cream, to serve
1 cup plain flour
120g butter, chilled, chopped
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut apples into 2cm cubes and put in a small roasting pan or slice tin (about 30 x 20cm). Add berries and sugar and toss to combine, then cover with foil. Put pan in a larger oven tray to catch any cooking juices. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make crumble topping, put flour in a large bowl. Add butter, rubbing together with fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add remaining topping ingredients and rub together.
- Remove pan from oven and discard foil. Spread topping evenly over fruit to cover. Bake for a further 35 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling.
- Allow to cool for five minutes. Serve warm with cream, custard or ice-cream.
Apple & blackberry crumble
- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:10 mins
- Cook:25 mins
- Serves 4
Make this seasonal apple and blackberry crumble for a comforting family pud. Pre-cooking the topping will make it extra-crispy, while also retaining the texture of the fruit
For the crumble topping
- 120g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
For the fruit compote
- 300g Braeburn apple
- 30g unsalted butter
- 30g demerara sugar
- 115g blackberries
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- vanilla ice cream, to serve
- STEP 1Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip 120g plain flour and 60g caster sugar into a large bowl.
- STEP 2Add 60g unsalted butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy.
- STEP 3Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until lightly coloured.
- STEP 4Meanwhile, for the compote, peel, core and cut 300g Braeburn apples into 2cm dice.
- STEP 5Put 30g unsalted butter and 30g demerara sugar in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat. Cook for 3 mins until the mixture turns to a light caramel.
- STEP 6Stir in the apples and cook for 3 mins. Add 115g blackberries and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, and cook for 3 mins more.
- STEP 7Cover, remove from the heat, then leave for 2-3 mins to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan.
- STEP 8To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof gratin dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 5-10 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
APPLE & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE
This easy Apple & Blueberry Crumble is super simple to throw together. Adding bursting berries is a brilliant twist on a classic apple crumble that you have to try. The crumble topping made without oats is soft and comforting but still lovely and crisp on top. Tasty perfection!
This recipe came about rather by accident. It was a convergence of a request for fruit crumble from a friend and a huge amount of cheap blueberries coming my way.
I don’t like apple crumble (I’ve always been a solid Peach Crumble girl). And I don’t like blueberries so I had no real intention of even eating this, never mind sharing the recipe. Until I tasted it. And it turned out neither of these things is true. In fact it turns out that I love blueberries. They’re delicious. Why did nobody tell me?
I’ve made this recipe to be in the region of half apple and half blueberry. Whilst I was able to find a bunch of cheap berries, I know that isn’t going to be the case for everyone. Or probably for me ever again. They can be on the pricey side so a 100% blueberry crumble felt excessive.
The apple in the recipe also provides some sharpness to counteract the sweetness of the berries as well as providing some bulk. You can easily play around with the ratios if you want. But I actually think I hit on the perfect balance so please try the recipe as written first.
CRUMBLE TOPPING WITHOUT OATS?
So why have I pointed this fact out? I grew up with crumble based on the recipe from the Be-Ro book. The ingredients were simple – butter, flour and sugar. Using self-raising flour gives the crumble topping lift and keeps it light and a little bit more cakey than dry.
It is really common for modern crumble recipes to use oats in the topping. Or for them to take it one step further by using granola etc. And many use plain flour. Or don’t include a raising agent. This makes the finished recipe much more like an American fruit crisp.
Crisps are great in their own right. But to me they’re really quite different from a classic fruit crumble. I know that others feel the same so I want to signpost and point out that this crumble recipe does not use oats. This recipe treads a delicious line between crumbly, crispy, soft and ever so slightly gooey underneath.
HOW TO SERVE BLUEBERRY APPLE CRUMBLE
Hot with lashings of custard is the obvious answer. And I am 100% going to recommend this way. I am a solid Bird’s custard girl – the powder in a tub that is mixed with sugar and milk kind. Not the instant, just add hot water kind. I’m not a total heathen.
But I’ve actually more recently come across to the dark side and started serving my crumbles with lashings of double cream instead. There is something about the cold smooth cream that just comes together with the hot berry crumble in a symphony of gloriousness. If I have clotted cream to hand, that is my number one preference.
I know many folk enjoy some ice cream with their crumble. But I find it a little too much of a contrast of hot and cold for my taste. But each to your own.
I would generally advise sticking to a relatively neutral flavour of ice cream – vanilla is ideal. Something with more of its own flavour like strawberry or salted caramel might clash too much with the apple and blueberry.
As for serving the crumble cold, well of course you can. I know of several people who would happily huff half the dish straight out of the fridge.
MAKE BLUEBERRY & APPLE CRUMBLE INTO A FEAST
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
It is of course most traditional here in the UK to serve a crumble on a Sunday after a roast dinner. It is pure comfort food following comfort food and the tradition remains in many households across the country.
But please don’t feel restricted – this is a glorious dessert or even a sweet snack at any point of the week.
INGREDIENTS FOR EASY APPLE & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE
I use regular eating apples as that is what I am most likely to have on hand at any given moment. It is perfectly ok to use cooking apples like bramleys instead. If they are terribly tart, it might be wise to add a tablespoon or two of sugar into the fruit.
I both peel and core the apples. And then slice them fairly small and thin. This is so that they take a background note in the crumble and allow the blueberry flavour and texture to shine. It also means that they cook and soften easily within the same time that the topping takes to cook through.
I have used fresh blueberries but the recipe works just as well with frozen. Tinned or canned blueberries don’t seem to be readily available but you could of course use these too if you have them.
It is worth spending a moment making sure that there are no little stalks in the blueberries. And that any bad ones are discarded. There sadly always seems to be one or two in the carton.
The recipe uses self-raising flour (self rising) which just gives it a little lift. The crumble doesn’t bake up like a cake but it does make a slight difference with the texture.
You can actually just use plain flour if you don’t have any baking powder. It will still be good, just not amazing.
I use salted butter in all my baking. And I use salt in all my baking. Use unsalted butter if you must but please add extra salt. Salt enhances flavour and without it, the topping will be bland.
It is also best to use actual butter rather than margarine. This both helps the texture and the flavour of the finished crumble.
It is also important that the butter is fridge cold when you start making the crumble.
It doesn’t matter if you use granulated or caster sugar (regular or superfine). But please make sure to use white sugar not brown. An unbleached white sugar is fine.
The cornflour is essential in this recipe to make sure that all the juice from the berries doesn’t just run everywhere. As the filling cooks, the cornflour mingles with the juices and thickens the sauce.
I wouldn’t attempt to sub in flour instead. It is likely to just clump.
OTHER FRUIT CRUMBLE IDEAS
This crumble topping recipe can really be used to top almost any fruit. And the options are endless. I love to used canned or frozen fruits. So a forest fruit mix is great, black cherries are one of my favourites and I even use cans of fruit cocktail!
Of course you can use fresh fruits and berries. If I’m not using them to make curd, plum is a great crumble filling. Its hard to avoid apples in the autumn and I know many people love pear crumble too. Earlier in the season, rhubarb crumble is ubiquitous.
There are two things that you need to take into account when preparing other fruits. How juicy are they? And how sweet/tart are they? Anything juice giving will need cornflour. Anything tart will need some sugar. And for the most part, anything expensive can be bulked out with something cheap – like apple.
OTHER FLAVOURS TO ADD TO THE CRUMBLE TOPPING.
As for the crumble topping, this can be used as is on any of these fruits.
Or you can add in some spices. I add ground ginger to my Peach & Ginger Crumble recipe. So if you are a cinnamon lover for example, you could add some for an autumnal apple crumble.
Nuts can also make a nice addition. Some finely chopped pistachios work well with plum and I like to pair crushed hazelnuts with various berries.
MORE UNUSUAL CRUMBLE FLAVOURS
Don’t be scared to venture far from the norm. How about a mango crumble with added desiccated coconut in the topping. Or pineapple? Its always worth a try. (Disclaimer – I have not yet tried this so it remains a suggestion to try at your own risk!)
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians.
To make a vegan apple and blueberry crumble, you will need to use a dairy free butter alternative for the crumble topping. But that shouldn’t be too difficult – there are many block type butter alternatives readily available nowadays.
MAKE IT ALLERGY FRIENDLY
This recipe is free from egg and nuts.
Gluten Free: It should be fairly easy to sub in a white gluten free flour blend on a 1:1 basis. Just remember that if you are using a blend without raising agents, you will need to add gluten free baking powder.
Cornflour is gluten free so that will not need to be subbed.
Dairy Free: The butter is the only dairy in the recipe so simply swap it for a dairy free alternative.
EQUIPMENT NOTES FOR APPLE & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE
You only really need kitchen basics to make a crumble. Measuring scales and spoons, a silicone spatula, and a small sharp knife should be fairly standard in most kitchens.
I prefer to use a speed peeler to take the skin off my apples – I feel like I lose less flesh than by using a knife.
You can use almost any baking dish you like. I tend to use a ceramic baking dish or a glass Pyrex dish rather than a tin.
It is nice to present the finished crumble at the table so I tend to use something good looking. But also the thickness and retention of heat works well to ensure the crumble is cooked evenly.
MAKING CRUMBLE TOPPING IN A FOOD PROCESSOR.
I’ve written this recipe for the crumble topping to be made by hand. I don’t tend to want to dirty the food processor for just one small batch. But if you prefer to use a processor or are making a larger batch, you can do so.
- Measure the Self Raising Flour and Salted Butter into the processor bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces as you add it.
- Pulse until the butter is no longer visible. It is ready when the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a pulse function, turn the processor on for a second at a time then turn it off. Just keep repeating doing this.
- Measure in the Sugar and Sea Salt Flakes then pulse again a couple of times to combine and evenly distribute them in the flour butter mix.
It is worth noting that a stand mixer isn’t really suitable for this job.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The crumble topping mix will sit in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. It can also be frozen. If you make crumble regularly, it is a good idea to make a big batch then freeze it in portions. You can add it to the fruit and bake from frozen.
I don’t however like to prepare the fruit so far in advance. This recipe includes a step to toss the sliced apple in lemon juice which does stop the apple from discolouring. But it won’t prevent it in the long term.
But once you assemble the whole crumble and add the topping, the apple should keep for a couple of hours. At a stretch it may even keep overnight.
Keep it in the fridge if making more than an hour or two in advance but bring it up to room temp before cooking. Or cook it for an extra 10 minutes from chilled.
You can also freeze the whole assembled crumble. Just make sure to wrap it thoroughly and defrost before cooking.
LEFTOVER BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE
Leftovers will keep for around 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
My preference for reheating would be to give each portion a couple of minutes in the microwave. You can reheat in the oven but I think this risks it drying out.
You can also freeze the cooked crumble. Just defrost and reheat as normal.
Top tip – Serve with yoghurt for breakfast!
APPLE & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE TIPS
Feel free to adjust the ratio of crumble topping to fruit. I like my crumble generous so that is how this recipe is written. You can reduce the crumble quantities and increase the fruit quantities if you prefer.
The quantities given for the fruit are in general really flexible. So you can more or less just use them as a guide. Please don’t only use half an apple because it makes up the right weight. Or leave 8 blueberries in the container. Throw them in!
Please don’t dive straight in with a spoon. I appreciate the enthusiasm but the cooked fruit will be scalding hot. Just be careful!