What’s better than a big pan of apple crumble? This easy recipe fills a 9 x 13 inch pan with crunchy topping and a gingery apple filling.
Growing up with an apple tree in my backyard, my family would hours making and freezing homemade applesauce and canning apple butter. To keep us going, my mom would make her signature apple crisp. We’d shovel in forkfuls with vanilla ice cream running down our chins. And now, Alex and I finally have our own take on the old standard! This is the best classic apple crumble (or apple crisp, because they’re pretty darn similar). It’s a big 9 x 13 pan to feed a crowd, and fresh ginger accentuates the gooey filling perfectly. Ready to get started?
Best apples for baking apple crumble
What are the best apples for baking apple crumble or crisp? We’re glad you asked. There are certain apples that hold their texture better than baked. Some apple varieties are better for eating than cooking! Alex and my personal preference is for tart or sweet tart apples when baking. Here are what we’ve found are the best apple varieties for baking:
- Jonathon or Jonagold
- Ida Red
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
We used Ida Red that we picked at a local apple orchard in this apple crumble, and they had the perfect texture and flavor.
How to slice apples: the fast way!
You’ll need to slice quite a few apples for this recipe. Here’s a new method for making it fast to slice apples (see the 10 second video below!). There’s no need to core them or do round cuts around the core! This method makes it quick and simple. After you’ve peeled the apple, do the following:
- Holding the core of the apple, use a large chef’s knife to slice off four sides of the apple, cutting as close to the core as possible.
- Take one of the quarters and place it flat side down. Then cut it into thin slices.
- Repeat with the remaining quarters!
Tips for this easy apple crumble
This apple crumble is truly easy to make (loads easier than apple pie!). It uses simple ingredients and time-honored crumble traditions. And, it’s always a hit when we serve it to friends and family! It’s perfect for summer, fall or winter: making it one of the most versatile desserts there is. There aren’t many people who will refuse a scoop of warm apple crumble with some melty vanilla ice cream (right?). Here are a few tips for baking and serving this apple crumble:
- Use fresh ginger. Many apple crumble recipes use ground ginger, but fresh ginger adds the best flavor. Our best trick for fresh ginger? Peel it with a spoon.
- It makes a big pan: 12 servings! One way to keep desserts healthy is to eat a small serving. This makes a 9 x 13 pan, which is 12 servings. If you stick to that size, this dessert is not so bad!
- Top with Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, whipped cream, or ice cream. To make a healthy spin, try a small dollop of Greek yogurt that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Creme fraiche with a little maple is heavenly.
Variations: vegan, gluten-free, and more!
There are a few variations listed in the recipe below to customize this apple crumble for various diets and tastes! Here’s what you can do:
- Make it vegan: Use coconut oil in place of the butter. The crumble will be slightly softer than it is with butter, but it’s still fantastic.
- Make it gluten free or paleo: Use almond flour in place of all purpose flour. The filling will still be delightfully crumbly.
- Add flair: Add spices to give it a spin. Try 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cardamom in the crumble, or add a pinch of nutmeg or cloves.
More apple recipes
Got more apples? We went apple picking this year and had lots of leftover apples. This apple crumble was a highlight, and have been picking our way through our favorite apple recipes ever since! Here are a few of our top picks for cooking with apples:
- Best Apple Pie Recipe It’s got flaky lattice pie crust and a tender, perfectly spiced apple filling. Prepare to be amazed!
- Sauteed Apples (a la Mode) The perfect easy dessert! It takes just minutes to make: serve topped with melty vanilla ice cream.
- How to Make Applesauce Making applesauce at home is easier than you think: and it skips the extra sugars of the store bought kind! Or try it in an Instant Pot.
- Easy Applesauce Cake This cake is perfectly moist, scented with cinnamon and brown sugar. You mix the entire dough in the cake pan! No mixing bowls required.
- Dried Apples This healthy snack is crispy and cinnamon-spiced…and makes your kitchen smell like heaven.
- Apple Streusel Muffins (plus a vegan version) The streusel topping adds a sweet crunch to each bite, and they feature both applesauce and diced apple. Or try Apple Oatmeal Muffins.
This apple crumble recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, follow the variations in the recipe below.Print
What’s better than a big pan of apple crumble? This one makes a 9 x 13 pan of classic crunchy topping and a gooey cinnamon and ginger apple filling.
For the filling
- 6 medium to large cooking apples
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the crumble
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (or almond flour for gluten-free)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (or coconut oil for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Core, peel and thinly slice the apples. Peel the ginger and grate it.
- Combine the apple slices and filling ingredients in large bowl and toss with your hands until well coated.
- In separate bowl, make the crumble topping: stir together the flour, brown sugar, oats, walnuts and kosher salt. Add the vanilla and stir. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to bowl. Use pastry cutter or fork to fully incorporate the butter (or room temperature coconut oil).
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place the apple filling in the bottom, then evenly distribute the crumble over the top.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until browned and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly, then serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche sweetened with a drizzle of maple syrup, whipped cream (classic, vegan or bourbon infused), or ice cream.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Apple Crumble, Easy Apple Crumble, Best Apple Crumble
Last updated: May 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.