This Caramalized Apple Crumble recipe has been my go-to recipe for well over 20 years now. I’ve made it so many times, I could practically do it with my eyes closed!
The key to its deliciousness resides in a very simple step that only adds a few minutes to the overall process, but that adds SO much flavor it gives a completely new dimension to this classic dessert: you need to cook the apples in caramelized sugar!
Since the apples will be cooked twice in this recipe, it’s really important that you choose an apple that has a good reputation for retaining its shape and keeping somewhat firm even after cooking – Golden Delicious would be my ultimate favorite and can’t recommend it enough for this recipe.
If you couldn’t get your hands on that particular variety, though, Honey Crisp, Gala, Cortland or even Granny Smith would work really well, too.
One thing I particularly like about this dessert is that it’s totally no fuss and super easy to make. You don’t even need to take the electric mixer out of the cupboard! All you need is a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.
Oh, and a heavy bottomed skillet to caramelize your apples!
Seriously, the thing that will take you the longest time to do is peeling and dicing the apples. Once that is out of the way, the rest goes pretty fast! You could get this baby going before you start working on dinner, then have it bake while you’re eating dinner. Then as soon as you’re done with that, fresh-out-of-the-oven dessert will be ready for all to enjoy!
Because this Apple Crumble can be eaten almost as soon as it comes out of the oven; a few minutes resting time is all it needs before you can dig in. Eaten warm, this dessert is at its best topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream — an ineluctable but truly delicious classic!
Personally, I think it’s equally good right out of the ice box, so I enjoy the leftovers just as much…
I certainly hope that, for you too, this recipe will become a regular recipe and that you too, will soon be making it with your eyes closed!
Step-by-step instructions with pictures immediately follow recipe
- 6 large cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (I recommend Golden Delicious)
- 1/2 cup (200g | 7.1oz) granulated sugar
- 1/4 (60g | 2.1oz) butter
- the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup (240g | 8.5oz) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g | 7.1oz) light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cup (145g | 5oz) rolled oats
- 1-1/2 cup (190g | 6.8oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- In a large, heavy skillet, cook the sugar over medium heat until it melts and turns a dark amber color. Add the apples and cook until softened and golden and until the liquid at the bottom of the pan has practically completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and vanilla seeds and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the rolled oats, flour, cinnamon and salt, stir delicately until combined but crumbly.
- Press about half of this mixture at the bottom of a 8" square baking dish, top with the reserved caramelized apples and then spread the rest of the crumble over the apples.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until top gets nice and golden brown.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving; Serve warm or cold, garnished with vanilla ice cream and chopped nuts, if desired.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND PICTURES
Preheat oven to 375°F
In a large, heavy skillet, cook the sugar over medium heat until it melts and turns a dark amber color.
You don’t need to add any liquid to the sugar. Just place it in the dry skillet; it’ll eventually start to melt and then turn darker and darker. You can stir it to help it melt more evenly, but don’t overdo it. Just let it do its thing before you’re happy with its color.
As soon as the caramel reaches the desired shade of amber, add the apples and cook until slightly softened and a beautiful shade of golden…
…but mostly until the liquid at the bottom of the pan has practically completely evaporated, which should take about 5 minutes.
When that happens, stir in the butter and vanilla seeds and set aside.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Add the rolled oats, flour, cinnamon and salt, stir delicately until combined but still crumbly.
Press about half of this mixture at the bottom of a 8″ square baking dish.
Top with the reserved caramelized apples…
…and then spread the rest of the crumble mixture over the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until top gets nice and golden brown.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
See how amazing those caramelized apples are?
Just wait ’til you get to taste them! Your taste buds will flip over backwards in your mouth!
This dessert is at its best served warm, garnished with vanilla ice cream and a handful of chopped nuts, if desired.