Simple Strawberry and Apple Crumble
This simple strawberry and apple crumble has lemony, cinnamon-spiced apples, fresh strawberries, and a rich, buttery streusel. With just a handful of basic ingredients, this is the perfect quick and easy dessert recipe to have on on hand for dinner parties and get-togethers with friends!
This morning I got out of bed, and like a little gremlin, scurried outside to assess the weather situation. It was just as I suspected: a little chilly, a tad breezy, with the scent of leaves in the air. But of course, by noon I was sweating and had the air conditioning running.
We’ve reached the Middle, which is that odd time in-between summer and autumn when my heart says pumpkin spice but my brain says it’s 84 degrees out. The time when summer berries are still juicy and flavorful but heirloom apples are making their way onto grocery store shelves.
So this year, I’m leaning into it. In-between baking ricotta strawberry lemon cake and cardamom apple cider donuts, we’re throwing the best of each season into a pie plate, adding a generous dose of buttery streusel, and serving it up with a scoop of ice cream. Let’s make a crumble!
Why you’ll love this crumble
When I was in pastry school, we used to make amazing apple crumble with juicy filling and crisp streusel. This recipe is inspired by the one I learned in school but it’s even better with a mix of apples and strawberries. This dessert gives off fall baking vibes, but you get all the perks of juicy summer berries!
- This dessert comes together in under an hour.
- With cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla, it’s cozy and delicious.
- It has a thick layer of streusel. I’m not here to play.
- It’s a simple dessert for a weekend baking project, but it’s also elegant enough to serve to dinner party guests.
The ingredient list
- Apples – go for a good baking apple like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonagold, or a mix of different varieties.
- Strawberries – look for juicy, sweet summer strawberries. The sweeter the better!
- Brown sugar – this will add sweetness and a caramelized flavor to complement the apples.
- Flour – a bit of all-purpose flour will thicken the filling, giving it a juicy, jammy consistency.
- Lemons – lemon zest will add a nice citrus note. And the lemon juice will add a bit of tartness and keep the apples from discoloring!
- Vanilla extract – I add vanilla extract to just about any baked good for depth and extra flavor.
- Spices – cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg will add cozy autumn flavors.
- Kosher salt – to offset the sweetness just a bit.
- Flour – all-purpose flour will work as the base for the streusel topping.
- Quick-cooking oats – to add a bit of texture and nuttiness.
- Sugar – regular white sugar will sweeten the streusel.
- Brown sugar – to add a nice caramelized note and extra sweetness!
- Cinnamon – this is optional, but cinnamon adds extra flavor.
- Unsalted butter – melted butter will bind everything together, creating a crumbly texture.
- Kosher salt – just a pinch of salt keeps this dessert from being too sweet.
- Apples – peaches, nectarines, or even pears would be delicious!
- Berries – use frozen berries if fresh aren’t available. You can also try blueberries or blackberries.
- Spices – try using a dash of apple pie spice or other warm spices like allspice or ginger.
- Oats – if you’re not a fan of oats, you can replace them with equal parts all-purpose flour.
How to make this recipe
- Start by combining the diced apples and strawberries in a large bowl.
- Add the brown sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved and there are no more dry spots.
This is a little trick I learned in pastry school! When you’re making crumble, give the fruit a taste before adding any sugar. If the fruit is really sweet, reduce the sugar a bit. If the fruit is tart, you can always add 1-2 Tablespoons (13-26 grams) of extra sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, quick-cooking oats, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour the melted butter over the flour-sugar mixture.
- Use a fork to mix everything together until the topping is crumbly.
To keep your crumble from coming out dry, make sure you use enough melted butter in the topping. If it seems a little dry and won’t come together, add more melted butter just a bit at a time. Be careful not to add too much though! Otherwise, the topping will be greasy.
- To assemble the crumble, start by tipping the filling into a deep 9” pie plate.
- Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
- Bake the crumble at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden-brown.
The secret to good crumble is baking it properly. The crumble is good to go when the filling is bubbling and the top is golden-brown. You want the filling to bubble so it thickens properly and the top needs to bake for a while so it gets nice and crisp.
Try topping the strawberry apple crisp with:
- Vanilla ice cream or custard
- Whipped cream
- Bourbon butter pecan ice cream
- Easy strawberry coulis
- Caramel sauce
To store the leftovers, wait until the crumble is completely cool. Then, cover the pan tightly with tinfoil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. I do not recommend making the crumble in advance, because the topping will get a bit soggy.
You can also freeze the unbaked crumble for later! Just assemble the crumble in a freezer-safe pan and double-wrap it in tinfoil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat the crumble, scoop it into an oven-safe container. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350°F. For individual servings, bake it for about 10 minutes, until hot in the middle. If you’re reheating a large portion, reheat it for 20-25 minutes.
To bake the crumble from frozen, preheat the oven to 350°F. Tent the pan loosely with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden-brown.
Tips & tricks
- For the best results, measure the ingredients in grams. If you don’t have a food scale, make sure you’re measuring the flour properly. Fluff it with a fork, scoop (don’t pack it in!), and level it off.
- The filling in this crumble is fairly juicy. If you want a thicker filling, add 1-2 Tablespoons (8-16 grams) of cornstarch when you’re mixing the filling together.
- Make sure you bake the crisp long enough! The crisp should be bubbling – you basically want the filling to ‘boil’ so it gets juicy and jammy.
- If the crumble starts to get too brown, tent it with tinfoil. You want the topping to be crisp not burnt!
What’s the difference between crumble and crisp?
This may vary from person to person and recipe to recipe, but in short, they’re basically the same thing. In the past, crisps had oats and/or nuts in the topping where crumbles didn’t. But over time, the line has blurred and some crumbles have oats in the topping. I like adding oats for extra texture!
Are apples and strawberries good together?
When I first brainstormed this strawberry apple crisp recipe, I wasn’t sure that the combo would work. But it totally does! The tart, juicy strawberries perfectly complement the sweet, crunchy apples.
Should I use fresh or frozen berries?
You can use either in this recipe! If you’re using frozen berries, think about adding 1-2 Tablespoons (8-16 grams) of cornstarch to the filling. This will help thicken up any extra liquid that the frozen strawberries might be holding!
Can I make this topping without oats?
Yep! Just replace the oats with equal amounts of all-purpose flour. Just keep in mind the topping won’t be as crispy, because the oats add a lot to the texture!
How can I keep the topping crispy?
To keep the top crispy, make sure the crumble is completely cooled before covering. Otherwise any leftover heat could steam the top making it soft! To re-crisp the topping, just bake the leftovers at 350°F for 10 minutes (small portions) or 20-25 minutes (large portions). If the topping starts to get too browned, tent it with foil.
More strawberry & apple desserts
Brown Butter Strawberry Crumble Pie
Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Glaze
No-Bake Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
Apple Cider Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Frosting
The Best Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
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Simple Strawberry and Apple Crumble
Strawberry Apple Filling
- 2 pounds baking apples (907 grams)
- 1 pound strawberries (454 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (110 grams)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (30 grams)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (30 milliliters)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- Vanilla ice cream, custard, or whipped cream, for serving
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120 grams)
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats (80 grams)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (110 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (112 grams / 1 stick)
- 1 deep 9'' pie plate
Strawberry Apple Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, peel and core the apples. Dice the apples into 1-inch chunks. Core the strawberries and cut them into quarters.
- Combine the apples and strawberries in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, all-purpose flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt.
- Toss the apple and strawberry mixture until the sugar is dissolved and there are no dry spots. Set aside.
- Add the flour, quick-cooking oats, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Kosher salt to a small bowl. Stir until combined.
- Add the melted butter to the flour-sugar mixture. Use a fork to mix the streusel until it's crumbly and there are no more dry spots. Set aside.
Assemble & bake
- Tip the strawberry apple filling into a deep 9-inch pie plate. Spread the filling evenly into the baking dish.
- Using clean hands, evenly sprinkle the streusel over the top of the strawberry apple filling, making sure there are no gaps.
- Bake the crumble for 45-50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the streusel is golden-brown and crisp. Serve the crumble warm with vanilla ice cream, custard, or whipped cream.
xo Sara Lynn
Song of the day – Misty Morning by Travis Bretzer