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Crumble topping is made with a similar technique to Cake Method 2, i.e. by rubbing flour and fat together with your fingertips. Like breadcrumbs, it is always useful to have some stored in a jar for use as a topping, for filling out sweet pies or baked as a substitute for a cracker or crumb pie crust. If you have crumble to hand, for a quick dessert all you have to do is drain a can of fruit, for instance pear halves, lay the fruit in a pie crust, spread over crumble topping, and bake your pie.
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In essence, crumble topping is sweet pastry dough that has not been moistened to process it into a smooth blended dough suitable for rolling. The basic mixture can be additionally flavored with cinnamon, ginger, mace, etc and/or by the addition of chopped nuts for a crunchier effect.
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- 1 cup (4.5oz / 125g) of flour
- 1 cup (8oz / 225g) of sugar
- ½ cup (4oz / 110g) of butter or margarine
- ½ (2.5g) teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ (2.5g) teaspoon of ginger
Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger together in a mixing bowl. Cut in the fat with a pastry countertop blender or coat your fingers with flour and rub the fat into the dry ingredients with your finger tips. The recipe will provide ample topping for a 9” (22.5cm) pie or an 8×8 (20x20cm)” dish.
Apple Crumble Pie
- 1 deep 9” (22.5cm) pie shell (defrosted if pre-frozen)
- 6 cups (2lb / 910g) of peeled, cored & sliced apples (preferably cooking apples)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) of lemon juice
- 1 cup (8oz / 225g) of sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30g) of cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon (2.5g) of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (2.5g) of ginger
- 1 crumble topping recipe (see above)
Pre-heat the oven to 450°F (230°C.
Mix the apples and the lemon juice in a bowl.
Mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger together and sprinkle over the apples. Mix and spoon into the pie crust.
Top the delicious apple pie with crumble topping, spreading the topping to the edges of the crust. Save any left-over topping in a sealable jar for later use.
Rhubarb Crumble Pudding
Rhubarb is naturally tart so quite a lot of sugar is required. The 2 cups indicated below is only a guideline. Some fresh rhubarb may require more sugar and some sugar may also be required even when using tinned rhubarb. Taste the filling before covering it with crumble and adjust the amount of sugar if necessary.
For an 8×8” (20x20cm) dish.
- 6 cups (1.5lb / 680g) of rhubarb cut into 1” (2.5cm) slices
- 2 cups (1lb / 454g) of sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45g) of cornstarch
- ¾ (3.5g) teaspoon of ginger
- ¼ cup (2oz / 60ml) of orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (1oz / 30g) of butter
- 1 crumble topping recipe (see above*)
* omit the cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and ginger in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the orange juice and butter and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
Stir in the rhubarb and spoon the mixture into an 8×8” (20x20cm) oven dish.
Top with crumble topping, spreading the topping to the edges of the dish. Save any left-over topping in a sealable jar for later use.
Bake in the oven at 425°F (220°C) for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake for a further 30 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the rhubarb is tender.
Serve with hot pouring custard or à la mode with ice cream.
Two large tins of rhubarb can be used instead of fresh rhubarb. Adjust the amount of sweetening accordingly.
For apple crumble pudding, spoon the filling for the apple crumble pie above (or 2 tins of apple pie filling) into an 8×8” (20x20cm) dish and top with crumble. Bake as for rhubarb crumble pudding
Artificial sweetener such as Splenda can be substituted for the sugar on a pro rata basis.
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