The arrival of autumn brings with it one of our family’s favourite desserts: crumble! Hearty, cosy, warming and so simple to make, my plum and apple crumble will warm your belly and satisfy your tastebuds! A firm favourite in our home!
I love autumn and using produce of the season in my baking. Apples, pears, plums, berries, and very soon we will also have pumpkin too! Apples are one of my favourites though, as they are so versatile and easy to work with! I love using them in muffins and cakes as well as crumbles and tarts. They are perfect for every day bakes, but also can be made extra special for dinner parties too!
Additional apple recipes
Here are just a few of my other apple recipes for you:
- Caramel apple tart: A perfect dessert with wow factor for you and your guests!
- Apple and blackberry crumble: A hearty dessert, loved by the whole family!
- Vegan apple crumble: Made without any dairy products, this one is also gluten free too.
What is a crumble?
A crumble is quite simply a baked dessert with a crumbly topping made with flour, butter and sugar (and sometimes oats). The topping is baked over a fruit filling, which can consist of a mix of different fruits. It can have additional flavours added too, such as spices, different sugars and even chocolate chips!
What is the difference between a crumble and a crisp?
Traditionally, a crumble would consist of just three ingredients: flour, sugar and butter. A crisp will include the same three ingredients, but will often have additional ingredients such as oats or nuts, lending to a greater texture in the baked topping. However, crumbles do sometimes use oats as part of the ingredients too, blurring the line between a crumble and a crisp.
What ingredients do I need to make this plum apple crumble?
- Oats: chunkier in texture than flour, this gives the apple and plum crumble with oats topping extra bite and texture.
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour to make the crumble topping.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter when making this plum and apple crumble. Remember to only use fingertips when rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients to make the topping for this apple plum crisp.
- Sugar: used to sweeten both the filling and the crumble topping. I used dark muscovado sugar to make the crumble topping and caster sugar for a little extra sweetness in the fruit filling.
- Apples: one half of the star of the show! I use Bramley apples to make any baked apple dessert as I prefer the tart flavour of them in a sweet bake.
- Plums: the other half of the delicious fruit used to make the crumble. I keep the skin on my plums, just removing the seeds and chopping them up for ease and convenience.
- Cornflour/cornstarch: to thicken the juices released by the apple plum filling when making this delicious easy crumble recipe.
- Spices: for extra delicious light flavour to compliment the fruit, I like to add a little nutmeg and cardamom to the fruit filling. Yum!
What tools do I need to make apple plum crumble?
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups too, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients using weighing scales when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Pie dish*: to bake the apple and plum crumble in.
- Mixing bowl*: used to make the plum and apple crisp filling and topping in before assembling the spiced plum and apple crumble and baking until golden, crisp and delicious!
How to make an apple and plum crumble
This crumble is so easy to put together, however it does take a little time to prepare the fruit: stoning, coring and chopping. It is also a fabulous dessert to make with little helpers, as the mixing is easy and very forgiving! Simply mix and place the apple plum filling in the pie dish before making the crumble topping and sprinkle over the fruit. After this, bake and enjoy!
Prep the fruit for the base of the crumble
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Step 2: Peel the apples, then core them. I do this by slicing the peeled apples into quarters and removing the core at an angle. Chop the apples into roughly inch sized chunks.
Step 3: For the plums, cut them in half and twist to separate the flesh, revealing the seed. Deseed the plum and chop into small chunks. There is no need to remove the skin of the plums, they will soften and help hold the plum’s structure when baked.
Step 4: Toss both fruit together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Step 5: In a separate small bowl, mix together the caster sugar, nutmeg, cardamom and cornflour. Toss this mixture in the larger bowl with the fruit until the fruit is well coated. Tip into the pie dish, press down into an even layer and set aside for the apples and plums to macerate whilst making the crumble topping.
For the crumble topping
Step 1: In the same mixing bowl, place the flour and oats. Stir together to combine.
Step 2: Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Step 3: Stir in the dark muscovado sugar. The topping mixture should be forming thick clumps in the bowl.
Step 4: Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit, pressing downs slightly as required and spreading out evenly over the filling.
Step 5: Bake the crumble for 45-50 minutes. The crumble topping will be golden and crisp and some of the filling will be bubbling up around the edges of the topping.
Step 6: Rest the crumble (once removed from the oven) for five minutes before serving. Enjoy on its own, or with ice cream, double cream or custard!
What to serve with plum and apple crumble
You can serve this crumble just on its own, it is just delicious as is. However, depending on your preferences too, it can easily be served in a few different ways:
- A drizzle of cream: single, double/heavy, extra thick… the choice is yours!
- Ice cream: clotted cream ice cream is my favourite! Vanilla of course works really well too.
- Custard: my favourite option on a cold winter’s evening, for extra cosiness!
Do you need to peel the apples?
I prefer the apples peeled when making this crumble recipe, however you could leave the skins on too. Leaving the skin on will stop the apples from softening as much and so mushing up together. Additionally, because the skin does not break down when cooked in the same way, you will find some tougher bits where the skin is. If you prefer the filling to all cook and blend together better, I would recommend peeling the apples.
How to cut the apples
Once peeled, you can use a corer to remove the core of the apple before cutting roughly into small cubes. If you do not have an apple corer, simply cut the apple in quarters before cutting out the core at an angle. Then chop into cubes before using.
What can I do if I do not have a pie dish?
If you do not have a pie dish, you could make this in a cake tin too (though be careful not to scratch it as you spoon out the crumble once cooked). You could also try making this crumble in individual ramekins for ready made single serving portions.
How do I get my crumble crunchy?
I find a couple of things useful to give a crunchy crumble topping. Firstly, using oats helps hugely in the recipe. The oats toast up beautifully and will add a lovely bite to the topping. I also like to lightly press the crumble topping together between my fingers as I layer it over the fruit. This helps it clump together, giving a lovely additional texture to the topping.
How to I know when my plum and apple crisp is baked?
The time baking helps soften the fruit filling as well as crisp up and brown the crunchy crumble topping. You can tell the crumble topping is done because it will be golden brown and feel crisp when lightly (careful, it will be hot!) touched.
How to store and reheat your crumble
This plum and apple crumble with oats recipe is best enjoyed on the day it is made. However, it will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days if needed too. Reheat it in the microwave for a minute or so before serving, or you could also reheat it in the oven covered with some foil (to prevent further browning/burning of the crumble topping).
Can you freeze plum and apple crumble?
Absolutely! You actually have two options here.
You can freeze the crumble after baking by placing in an airtight container before freezing. Make sure the whole crumble is completely cool before freezing. It will freeze well for up to three months.
You can freeze the crumble before baking. I prefer to freeze the filling and the topping separately rather than assembling and freezing together, to prevent the topping going soggy in the freezer.
How to thaw and reheat the plum and apple crumble
Thaw the crumble in the fridge overnight, regardless of which stage it was frozen at. Once thawed, you can assemble the crumble and bake, just as in the recipe. If it is already baked, simply reheat in the oven for about 15 minutes or so, covering the crumble with foil to prevent further browning if needed.
Can I make this a gluten free and dairy free crumble?
I have not tried it myself, but I see no reason why not!
To make this crumble gluten free, use a gluten free flour blend to replace the flour. Whilst oats are naturally gluten free, please do check the label on your oats to be sure, or simply use gluten free oats.
To make dairy free crumble, use a dairy free block butter in the crumble topping in place of butter.
Additional tips for making this easy plum and apple crumble recipe
- Mix together the fruit filling and leave to macerate in the pie dish whilst you make the crumble topping. This allows some of the juices and flavours to come out of the fruit and blend together before the baking begins.
- When making the crumble topping, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using just your fingertips and not the palms of your hands.
- Press the fruit down in the baking dish before topping with the crumble. The fruit will soften as it bakes, and pressing into an even layer allows the crumble to sit on it in a flatter layer, so it can crisp up evenly.
- Leave the baked crumble to stand for a few minutes before serving. The hot fruit filling can burn, so this is especially important if being served to young children!
- This can easily be served totally plain, and is delicious this way. It can also be served with pouring cream, ice cream or even custard if you wanted to. The choice is entirely yours!
- If you cannot find Bramley apples for this recipe, choose any variety with a similar flavour such as Granny Smith instead.
- Swap out the plums for any other fruit if you wish. Apple and pear crumble is high on our love list too!
If you have any other questions or comments about this apple and plum crumble recipe, please use the comments below, I would love to help. And if you do make this recipe for apple and plum crumble, please do leave me a rating and review below. You could also post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. After all, you know I would love to see!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Do check out these other yummy recipes on my blog too:
Apple and blackberry crumble: These two fruit flavours work so well together! Crumbles are a firm favourite in our home as the weather cools down, to warm us up and satisfy our bellies. This apple and blackberry crumble ticks all the right boxes, plus it is incredibly easy and fun to make with the kids too!
Cherry bakewell crumble: Calling all cherry almond lovers, this one is for you! My cherry bakewell crumble has all the deep rich joy of cherry filling with wonderful earthy nuttiness of almonds in the ultimate comfort food bake! Deliciously moreish and a wonderfully cosy pudding for the colder winter months.
Banoffee crumble: This crumble takes minimal effort for maximum reward, and presents it in a wonderfully cosy comfort food bake! Plenty of bananas and a generous caramel layer topped with a simple lightly spiced crumble topping.
Happy baking, my friends! x