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Apple Nut Crumble

Apple Nut Crumble

Apple Nut Crumble has tender cinnamon apples with a crunchy oat streusel topping.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

‘How to’ crunchy topping

Mom used to make Apple Crisp during the Fall when apples are plentiful. She had a crunchy topping that contrasted with tender apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I love texture contrasts so when I decided to develop a no-fail crunchy topping I learned about fruit desserts: crumbles, crisps, cobblers, buckles, dumplings, grunts and slumps. (For more about differences between fruit desserts see the Notes section.)

This Apple Nut Crumble is made with four intertwining layers of textures. First, part of the apples are grated so they breakdown into applesauce. Second, the rest of the apples are cut in chunks and bake just until tender. Unpeeled apples mean you have a little more texture plus the skin will cast a rosy, watercolor hue to Apple Nut Crumble with ice creamthe filling. Third, the dried cranberries soften but retain a little chewiness. And fourth, the topping is a crunchy, crumbly, nutty crown that doesn’t sog while baking.

That’s a perfect segue to share more about the crumble topping. It has several ingredients that ensure crunch: brown sugar, turbinado, oats, granola and walnuts. With butter and cinnamon it turns into an outrageously delicious, crispy topping over tender apples.

You may also enjoy Deep Dish Apple Pie, Apple Pudding with Sweet Cream Sauce, Apple Julep, Crockpot Cinnamon Applesauce and Irish Potato Apple Mash.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Pie Shakes
2011 AniversaRecipe – Orange Cranberry Sauce and Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Recipe: Apple Nut Crumble

Prep Time: 13 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 8 Servings | Level: Moderate

Apple Filling
Apples3 lbs crisp apples, such as Fugi, Gala, Braeburn, about 6 large or 10 small unpeeled
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract

Nut Crumble
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Butter Flour Mixture1/4 cup turbinado sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
10 Tbsp cold butter, cut in chunks
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup granola
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Special Equipment – large skillet, 9×13 baking dish

Apple Filling
shredding apple1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2 Grate 1/3 of the apples and place in a large skillet on medium heat with granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the apple softens. Remove from the heat.

3 Cut the rest of the apples in 3/4-inch chunks. Stir into the apple mixture along with cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Spoon add apple chunks to applesauceinto a 9×13 baking dish.

Nut Crumble
add crumble topping4 Combine flour, brown sugar, turbinado sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it becomes a fine crumb. Toss in oats, granola and walnuts. Spoon evenly over the apple mixture.

5 Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Serve solo or with ice cream, whipped cream or Creme Anglaise.

There is a lot of flavor in the apple peel (plus vitamins and roughage). Using unpeeled apples intensifies the apple flavor and emphasizes the rustic nature of this dish.

I like to use a crunchy granola, walnuts and turbinado sugar in the crumble topping to increase the texture.
turbinado sugar
Turbinado sugar is also called ‘sugar in the raw’. It has a subtle molasses flavor but is paler in color than brown sugar. It’s spun in a cylinder style turbine to make the coarse crystals, hence the name. You can find it at most supermarkets.


Fruit desserts with various toppings all have a combination of fruit, butter, flour and sugar. The distinguishing details:
Crumbles and Crisps have a streusel topping, with or without oats and sometimes nuts.
Cobblers have sweetened biscuit dough dolloped on top that puffs when baked for a cobblestone look.
Buckles have a cakey batter on the bottom with the fruit mixture on the top. When it bakes the fruit sinks and causes the cake to rise up on the edge and buckle in the middle.
Dumplings are wrapped in pie dough.
Grunts and Slumps, two names for the same dish, are cooked on the stove rather than baked. They’re topped with sweetened biscuit dough then steamed lid on. This is often made in a cast iron skillet over a camp fire.
Betties have buttered bread crumbs on top and layered with the fruit.
Pandowdies are topped with pie crust. Once out of the oven the crust is cut or broken to reveal more fruit or may even be submerged in the fruit filling. It looks a bit ‘dowdy’.
Sonkers have batter or pie crust over a saucy fruit filling that’s served in a bowl.

Serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or Creme Angliase.

Dish Designer

  • Use granny smith apples for a more tart result.
  • Exchange turbinado for 1/4 cup brown sugar or sanding sugar.

Apple Nut CrumbleInspiration – Gordon Ramsey
Cook with Sauces
Apple Nut Crumble
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: November 23, 2013

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