Desserts An image of apple and rhubarb crumble

Published on June 16th, 2010 | by Gareth


Apple and rhubarb crumble

The humble crumble is undoubtedly one of my favourite winter comfort foods. In fact I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like an apple crumble with custard poured over it.

The recipe I have provided is for apple crumble but you can use most fruit, popular alternatives I make include rhubarb, apricot, plum, pear or even blackberry and strawberry. Unfortunately I have yet to find hedgerows laden with fat, shiny blackberries in Australia. Most kids who grew up in the British countryside will recall plundering handfuls of sweet berries for free on their way home from school. The supermarket provides a blackberry option without the sharp thorns of the hedgerow but they are not cheap, so I usually go with apple, pear or rhubarb or combination.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 mins (depending on your oven)

Ingredients Filling:

  • 8 Small apples, peeled, cored and sliced (granny smiths)
  • 1 Vanilla pod (optional)
  • 1 Sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of water
  • You can also add rhubarb: chop 4-5 stalks, stew with 3 tblsps of sugar in a pan for 10 minutes then add tot he apple.


  • 80g Unsalted butter
  • 100g Rolled oats
  • 30g Plain flour
  • 30g Shredded coconut
  • 50g Raw sugar
  • 20g Almonds or pistachio nuts (unsalted variety), roughly chopped
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon (if you don’t like cinnamon try powdered ginger or nutmeg)

I encourage you to play around with the ingredients for the crumble take things out add something else in. A good guide to follow is roughly a 1:3 weight ratio of fat (butter) to dry ingredients (sugar, flour, oats etc).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Put all the crumble ingredients into a large bowl. Chop the butter (in the bowl) into small cubes. Mix the ingredients with a spoon. Using only your fingers rub the ingredients together until the butter is all mixed in and it looks a bit like large breadcrumbs. Set to one side.

Peel and core the apples then either slice or chop into 2cm cubes, you don’t need to bother measuring them. Arrange the apple in an oven proof dish, I used a 3 litre casserole dish because it was nice and deep (the photo is of individual ones I made in ramekins at a later stage).


Crumble mix

Using a sharp knife make an incision along the length of the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds with the knife. Mix the seeds with the apple. Put the pod down the side of the dish at the bottom. Tasty alternatives to a vanilla pod include  aspoonful of honey or 2 tablespoons of Galliano liqueur.

The rosemary adds a subtle fragrant flavour to the apple which I really like. If you add it you have two choices; either remove the green needles and chop them super fine then sprinkle evenly over the apple or a much faster option is to break the sprig into 2 and insert down the side of the dish at opposite ends and remove when you serve.  Fresh thyme or sage finely chopped also work well.

Sprinkle the water over the apple then top with your crumble mixture ensuring all of the fruit is covered with crumble.

Slam in the oven for 30-30 minutes or until the crumble is light brown and the juice from the apple starts to bubble out the sides.

Serve hot or cold with custard, double cream or vanilla ice cream.

Individual fruit crumbles in ramekins

An alternative to cooking in a large dish is to use individual ramekins

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About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

One Response to Apple and rhubarb crumble

  1. Pingback: Sweet potato, date and apple crumble | Humble Crumble

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