Some call it apple crumble pie, others call it apple crumb cake. This is my grandma’s recipe and it’s so easy, you only need a bowl, a grater, and a baking pan!
Some call it apple crumble pie, others apple crumb cake. In Greece we call it apple pie (milopita). However you decide to call this dessert, the fact is that it’s so easy and so delicious that everyone will be amazed and you’ll be asked for the recipe frequently. Yes, this is one of the best things you can make with apples (OK, this and this olive oil, cocoa and grated apple bundt cake with caramelized white chocolate glaze).
This dessert is very easy and you only need a mixing bowl, a grater and a baking pan to make it. Why is it so easy you ask? The dough is the same for the topping and the base, which means you only have to make two things: the crumble dough and the filling.
So, go find some of your favorite apples, let your butter come to room temperature and you’re good to go. Probably you already have at home all the rest of the ingredients. The final product of this recipe is an apple crumble pie that will leave in awe anyone who’ll taste it, and make them think you’re an accomplished pastry chef. If you’re having a party you can also make it into individual apple crumble cupcakes!
Give me a minute to tell you some things about this apple crumble pie cake. First you smell it. Have you ever happened to pass by a local bakery the moment they take out of the oven their freshly baked goods? Remember that nutty, buttery smell from the baked, browned dough? Now mix this aroma with a caramel-y, cinnamon-y, flowery smell from the filling and there you have it. Truly, the combination of apples, brown sugar and cinnamon is something extraordinary.
Cutting it, it’s another revelation. First you see the crumbly, cookie-like top, sprinkled with icing sugar. You start to wonder what the filling will be like. You see that the shredded apples and the sugar have magically transformed almost into an apple jam. Then you see the base. Is it like a big cookie? Is it a cake? Is it something in between? I have to admit, my favorite part is the outer, golden baked crust that I always leave for the end. I start eating my slice from the inner side, enjoying the different textures every bite has to offer and impatiently moving towards the edge. This final bite leaves me perfectly satisfied!
The ingredients for the apple crumble pie
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Optional: salt, vanilla extract, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice
How to make apple crumble pie
- Form the dough (crumble) by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl using your hands
- Use approximately 2/3 of the dough as the base for the pie
- Grate the apples and squeeze out some of their moisture. Mix them with the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Fill the pie with the filling and crumble the rest of the dough on top
As I have already said, this recipe is very easy and uses very simple ingredients. Butter, flour, sugar, apples, some baking powder and an egg. And some aromatics. It’s also very quick. Probably the thing that will take most of your time is shredding the apples. I give them a quick wash, then shred them whole (most of the times), through the big holes of the grater. Also you don’t have to roll out the dough or anything. Just press pieces of dough on the pan with your hands, and when completely covered, smooth it out with a spoon. That’s it!
Cover the filling by crumbling the rest of the dough with your hands. If you have a warm kitchen or very warm hands keeping the dough in the fridge until needed will help. Don’t be tempted to crumble all the pieces at the same size… It’s supposed to be uneven!
Is Apple Crumble Pie eaten warm or cold?
You can serve this apple dessert any way you prefer. If it’s warm it will pair perfectly with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s also delicious when it’s at room temperature, and perfect as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. You can even eat it as breakfast with a glass of milk.
Can it be made the day before?
Of course! All the flavors have developed even more the next day and if you want it warm you can warm it briefly in the oven. This apple crumble pie will also keep very well. I’ve kept leftovers at room temperature for 3-4 days without any problems. If it’s very hot where you live, you can keep it in the fridge for at least 5 days.
Some call it apple crumble pie, others call it apple crumb cake. This is my grandma's recipe and it's so easy, you only need a bowl, a grater, and a baking pan!
- 3 3/4 cups (500 grams) all purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
- 1 cup (200 grams) white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 sticks (250 grams) butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 4 – 5 large apples (depending on how much apple filling you want
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (200 grams) white sugar – or half light brown and half white
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line with baking paper a 10 inch (25 cm) round baking pan.
Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, the sugar, and the baking powder. Add the butter and mix until crumbly. Add the egg and the vanilla and mix again until a soft dough forms. Don’t overmix.
Divide the dough into three equal parts. Set the one part aside for later. Take the remaining dough and press it onto the surface of the baking pan with your hands. Cover the bottom and a little up the sides, like a tart.
Make the filling: shred the apples inside a bowl, using the side of your grater with the big holes (you can leave their skin on or you can peel them). Drizzle them with the lemon juice and squish them between your hands to get rid of the excess juices. Transfer them to another bowl, add the sugar and the cinnamon and mix well (this will bring out some more juices, but that’s ok).
Fill the pan with the apple mixture.
With your hands, crumble the rest of the dough over the filling.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until golden on top.
Let the apple crumble pie cool, invert on a rack and re-invert onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and cinnamon before serving.
In the video, I tested the recipe with coconut sugar instead of light brown sugar, but I don’t recommend it because coconut sugar has an intense flavor that alters the taste of the filling. I recommend using white sugar for the dough and white or half white and half light brown sugar for the filling.
Ingredients for an 8-inch (20 cm) round pan:
- 300 grams flour (2 cups plus 3 tablespoons)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 135 grams sugar (2/3 cups)
- 160 grams butter (2/3 cups)
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 small egg
- 3 apples
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 135 grams sugar (2/3 cups)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
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