Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Crumble

It's apple season. Yeah! There are so many yummy recipes to make. I was totally craving an Apple Crumble pie like Don and I used to get at Silverman's Farm in Easton, Connecticut. But I didn't want to make a pie. So I found an apple crumble recipe instead from my favorite baking cookbook, Pastries from the LaBrea Bakery.

Now, I'll have to confess. It wasn't perfect. The crumble topping got really dark in the oven, but the flavor was super yummy. The apples could have been juicier. So look for really fresh, juicy apples when you shop. 

The recipe was easy. Some of Nancy's recipes get complicated. Ok, most of them. But this one was actually very easy. I will definitely make it again. But I think I'll adjust the cooking time slightly - won't bake it as long next time.

Unfortunately I don't have a finished picture - we had company, things got crazy, and I never got the last shot. All I can say is there were 9 of us and there was one small spoonful left.  So this recipe definitely serves up to 10 like it says.

I had an excellent helper. Elli helped me peel the apples. She made crazy little hula apple dolls. And then I chopped off their skirts and the fun was over. 

Elli's apple hula lady.

Browned butter with a vanilla bean. mmmmm
Apples with sugar and the vanilla bean specks.
I kind of over-mixed the topping. It should not have been such large clumps.

Apple Crumble (from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from LaBrea Bakery)

3 lbs large, tart green apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, to equal about 6 cups
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 T light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 T unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
2 T cornstarch
2 T apple juice or water

1/2 cup + 2T all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2T granulated sugar
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 stick + 2T unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/2 cup + 2T rolled oats

6-cup capacity baking dish

1. In a large bowl, toss together the apples and sugars. Set aside for an hour until the apples start to break down and just begin to release their juice.

2. To prepare the topping: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon and pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off or mix on low until it's the consistency of a course meal.

3. Transfer to a bowl and, using your hands, toss in the oats. Chill until ready to use.

4. To prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan over high heat, begin to melt the butter. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the pulp and the seeds and add the scrapings and the pod to the butter. Swirl the pan to ensure the butter cooks evenly and doesn't burn. It will bubble somewhat vigorously as it browns. Continue cooking 3-5 more minutes until the bubbles subside and the liquid is dark brown with a nutty, toasty aroma. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the butter and brown flecks over the apples, tossing to combine.

5. Adjust the oven rack to the upper position and preheat the oven to 450º.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the apple juice or water, mixing well to remove the lumps. Place a strainer over the bowl of apples and strain the cornstarch liquid into the apples. Toss together and transfer to the baking dish.

7. Crumble the topping over the apples, squeezing it together in your fist to create a coarse, uneven, lumpy texture.

8. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, until the juices are bubbling. Turn the oven down to 375º and bake for another 50-55 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the juices are caramelized.

Hint: If you over mix the butter in the streusel and it clumps, freeze the streusel until firm and grate it - on the largest hold of the grater - directly over the fruit. (I did not do this. But I think I should have.)

Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.

8-10 servings

Happy eating!


  1. I love apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. YUMMY!

  2. That's exactly how we served it - and it was deelish.

  3. Oh my gosh - that is so cute! I love that you are allowing her to use a peeler. It's such a great tool and gives kids so much confidence! Try it on zucchini sometime - it makes great ribbons that can be mixed into pasta :-)


Thanks for your feedback!