Filled with tender, caramelized apples and topped with a sweet oat topping, this rustic, easy Irish Apple Crumble is always a crowd-pleaser. Even better topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
It doesn’t get more classic than an Irish-inspired, rustic apple crumble. This is one of those desserts that is so incredibly adaptable you can pull it off easily on a weeknight. And since it uses ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen, it’s a great dessert to make at the last minute when you don’t have time (or just don’t want) to run out to get ingredients. This is a particularly kid-friendly dessert to make if you, like, us have little people in your home that always want to help. The measurements don’t have to be exact and everything gets mixed together with your hands.
Apple crumble is the stuff that weeknight dessert dreams are made of. Your house will smell like a bakery even long after the 60 minutes required to bake this beauty.
And it's the perfect vehicle for a big scoop of ice cream or Bailey's Irish Cream whipped cream like the one that tops this Guinness Chocolate Cake.
- Apples - See below for some great options, but most varieties will work.
- Lemon juice - This keeps the apples from turning brown before they are transferred to the oven but also gives the dish a subtle tart flavor. Bottled lemon juice or fresh-squeezed will work.
- Rolled / Old-Fashioned Oats - For that satisfying oat texture, look for rolled or old-fashioned oats instead of quick cook or instant oats. You can make a crumble without oats, but I love the extra texture and toasty flavor they offer.
- Unsalted Butter - Use unsalted butter to avoid the dish getting too salty. You have more control over the amount of salt in the dish if you use unsalted butter and just add the measured amounts listed in the recipe. (If using salted butter, don’t add any extra salt to the dish.)
- Brown sugar - Light or dark will work. I love the extra caramel flavor that comes from dark brown sugar.
- Cinnamon - Cinnamon and apples are a classic pairing, so don’t miss adding a bit of cinnamon to the top. For even more flavor, try Saigon Cinnamon - it’s my favorite for cinnamon rolls and is great in apple crumble!
- Other standard baking things like flour, baking powder, and salt.
What Type of Apples to use in Irish Apple Crumble
The best apples for baking are those that are fairly tart and will hold their shape while baking. Honey crisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady all strike that balance. Golden Delicious is another common favorite that is often extra tart and works well in combination with other apples. Avoid the common lunchbox favorite Red Delicious which will can turn spongy / mealy when baked.
What is an Irish Apple Crumble?
An Irish Apple Crumble is a rustic casserole-style dessert with tart apples combined with thickener like flour and some sugar. It is topped with an oat-based topping that is "crumbled" over the top. Bake it all together until warm, golden, and bubbly.
- Adjust the sugar to fit the apples / your preference. Taste the apples and if they are very tart, feel free to add some additional sugar to the filling.
- Be sure to let the crumble rest for 5 minutes before serving. The filling will continue to thicken up as it sits.
- Use firm, fresh apples with no brown spots. Apples that are overripe or have soft spots will turn mealy in the crumble.
How to Store It
Store apple crumble, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or enjoy it chilled. Leftovers are a delicious treat for breakfast!
- Try different fruits - Try any fruit that is in season in place of the apples. Peaches, plums, or a mix of the two are always great. Berries work well too. Or use a combination of your favorites. Keep in mind that softer fruit will cook more quickly, so for many fruits other than apples, you can reduce the cook time to about 40 minutes.
- Change the topping - Skip the oats in the topping for a finer crust. Or add some nuts - chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or sliced almonds.
- Make it gluten free - Use your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour substitute and make sure to grab gluten-free oats.
- 8x8 Emile Henry Baking Dish- We’ve had a variety of Emile Henry dishes since we got married 9 years ago (!) and they’ve stood the test of time.
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls - I’ve had these even longer than the Emile Henry baking dishes and use them daily. Three sizes of glass bowls that are great for mixing ingredients, marinating meats, and work in the Instant Pot (the smallest size is what I use to cook the rice in this recipe.)
Easy Apple Crumble
- 8x8 Baking Dish (or similar size)
- Mixing Bowls
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Brown Sugar (light or dark)
- ½ cup Rolled / Old-Fashioned Oats
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt (½ cup butter = 1 stick / 8 Tbsp)
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 lbs Apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (any firm, crisp variety)
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar (light or dark)
- Pinch Salt
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish (or any similarly-sized casserole dish) with nonstick cooking spray.
- In one bowl, make the topping by combining ½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
- Use your hands to rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles dry sand. Store in the refrigerator.
- In another bowl, stir together apples and lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir to fully coat the apples.
- Transfer apple layer to prepared baking dish.
- Use your hands to crumble the topping over the apples.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the apples are soft and bubbly and the top is golden brown. (Note: If using a dish that is smaller than 8x8 you will have a deeper layer of apples; add 5 to 10 minutes to the bake time.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes before spooning into bowls.
- Serve crumble on its own or top with vanilla ice cream and / or whipped cream.
You just took apple crisp to a whole new level…I LOVE it! This looks amazing. I just want to dive right into this for breakfast. Peanut butter is the perfect addition and you really nailed this! I always think about eating crisps for breakfast when I have them in the house! This looks fantastic! Love the peanut butter!
We made it together as a family, my husband and my 5 yr old & my 2yr old all helped and had a fun time!
Thanks for the recipe!
Oh that sounds so fun! What a great recipe to make as a family. Thanks so much for your note, Fran.