While apple pie is my favorite dessert, crumble toppings are my favorite.
Of everything. Ever.
Apple pie knows no seasons and that is exactly why I don’t wait around for Fall every year to enjoy it. I wanted to share something a little different that still embodies everything I love about traditional apple pie and definitely deserves a spot in your favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes. Today’s apple crumble pie:
√ Has a buttery, flaky crust.
√ Has a rich apple filling that’s juicy, compact, sweet, and cinnamon-spiced.
√ Is topped with a brown-sugary, buttery, toasty walnut crumble.
√ Is the perfect spot for vanilla ice cream.
√ Is the purpose of life.
Preparing it? Well, that’s a piece of
Start with my go-to pie crust. ← Pie crust recipe, video, step-by-step photos, and tips included! The apple filling is nothing out of the ordinary. Very, very simple. Fresh lemon juice, apples, flour, spices, and sugar. For a more complex, interesting flavor– I suggest using a variety of apples. I always use a sweeter apple like Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp and a tart variety like Granny Smith.
- My #1 tip? Make sure your apple slices are around the same thickness. You don’t want some super thick apples (that won’t really cook) and some super thin apples (that will become mushy). Aim for around 1/4-inch thickness.
The crumble topping is a bunch of ordinary ingredients like brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter that, when combined, make something extraordinary. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
Baking = chemistry.
And now apparently, philosophy too.
The crumble topping complements the apple filling perfectly. What really makes it stand out are all of the toasty walnuts. I’ve been using Diamond of California walnuts since I was little. It’s all my mom kept in the pantry to throw into her oatmeal raisin walnut cookies. Though I much preferred chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies when I was 10, I’m all about nuts in desserts now. And you’ll LOVE what the toasted walnuts* add to this pie.
*They toast as the pie bakes!
I do not skimp on the crumble topping. This is serious.
The more buttery, crisp, sweet topping = the more you have to enjoy with melty vanilla ice cream. This crumble topping also makes a wonderful substitute to streusel toppings made with oats, you can cut this topping recipe in half to use on caramel apple cheesecake pie!
Something you’ll notice about most pie recipes. Not all, but most. Most pies begin at a higher oven temperature. Putting a pie into a very, very hot oven helps the crust brown. After 20 minutes or so, reduce the temperature. This helps allow the pie’s filling to cook thoroughly before the crust burns. Cool, huh?
Apple Crumble Pie
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes
- Yield: one 9-inch pie
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Deep dish apple crumble pie is heavy on the crumble topping!
- Homemade Pie Crust (recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve or freeze the 2nd half)
- 8–10 cups apple slices (1/4-inch slices, see note)
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup (95g) chopped walnuts
- 1/3 (75g) cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir the apples, lemon juice, flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside as the oven preheats; this time allows the apples to begin letting off their juice.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (if you made the entire pie dough recipe– you can freeze the other half of the dough at this time). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the apple filling into the crust, leaving some of the liquid in the bowl– don’t want all that in the pie. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges.
- Make the crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and walnuts. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the butter. The crumble topping will be thick and crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
- Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This a great pie to make 1 day in advance– after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked and cooled pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- Special Tools: Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Pie Dish, Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Shield
- Apples: You need about 5-6 large peeled apples. Peel then slice apples in a uniform thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. You don’t want some solid apples and some thin, mushy apples. For best flavor, use a variety of apples such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, and/or Pink Lady.
- Adapted from Salted Caramel Apple Pie.
Keywords: apple crumble pie
Reader Comments & Reviews
Can you leave the Walnuts out?
Hi Tori, yes. No other changes needed.
Hi Sally! Id love to make this apple crumble pie with rhubarb as well. Would it be possible to use this same recipe for an apple rhubarb crumble pie? Do you have any additional tips to share? Would I just add less apples and incorporate it with rhubarb and cook for the same amount of time? Thanks for your advice
Hi Lillian! That should work with no issue! Simply replace some of the apples with rhubarb. Rhubarb may require a little more sugar, so feel free to add another Tbsp or so. Bake time will likely be the same.
Sally, this was my first apple pie ever and although I was apprehensive being new to the baking world, decided to go for it. Followed the directions precisely and hit it out of the park on the first attempt. Family was laughing as I told them about making a total disaster level mess in the kitchen, butter exploding in the microwave, apple peels all over the floor, and covered in flour. It took me over an hour to clean up the mess. However, my wife walked into the house just as the pie was coming out of the oven and couldn’t believe how wonderful it smelled. Good news was it tasted even better! Bad news, family members are now trying to place orders for my pies.
Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes!
Should I use a regular pie dish for this or a deep dish pie dish? Cannot wait to make this!!
Hi Ali! This recipe is written for a regular pie dish. Enjoy!
I made this pie yesterday to take to a dinner party, and it was perfect! The pieces came out easily when I cut them, and everyone commented on how delicious it was. I will definitely make this pie again. Thanks so much!
Hi Sally! Do I use a deep pie dish or a regular one for this?
Deep dish, such as a pie dish that is 2 inches deep, is great. But I’ve squeezed this into a 1.8 inch deep dish before with no problem at all.
How long after assembly of the filing can you freeze it?
Hi David, we would freeze right away to prevent excess browning of the apples.
Hi Sally! Should I have blind baked the crust? I left the pie in for an additional 30 minutes on top of the time it says above and the bottom of the crust doesn’t look done still but the sides and everything else seem perfect! Please let me know, I’d like to make this again for Thanksgiving if I can figure out how to make it successfully.
Hi Amanda, are you using a glass pie dish and can see that the bottom crust isn’t done yet? Are does it l=not look done on the sides? If you want to try the recipe again, it would be easy to par-bake this crust and you can follow the directions on my How to Par Bake Pie Crust page. I would partially par-bake it according to those directions, then add the apple filling and topping.
Yes Im using a glass pie dish so I could see the bottom still wasnn’t done but the sides and top were done! I was worried about it burning but i’ll try to partially bake the crust next time! The taste was amazing though!! Great recipe
I made this pie today and it was still warm after dinner. It’s so good! The crumble topping is delicious. The uniform sliced apples are a must. Thanks to you!
I can’t wait to try it with vanilla bean ice cream when I return from the store tomorrow. The pie should be set up better and cut into clean pieces. It’s already a 5-star to me!
Hi Sally! This will be my first time baking a homemade pie, do you prefer to use a ceramic or glass pie dish??
Hi Amanda, We find that crusts baked in heavy ceramic never brown as nicely as when they’re baked in glass. We always recommend glass pie dishes.
This is so good! But it took forever to bake in my newish, accurate convection oven. Ninety minutes (not 30-35) after the initial 20 minutes, it was finally ready! When I try this again, I think I’ll prebake the filling for a bit before putting it into the crust.
Hi, is there a recommendation for a walnut substitute or could I leave them out? My husband is allergic but I rather do a crumb typing than a regular pie crust. I didn’t see it in the notes but maybe I missed it.
Hi Erin, You can make a streusel topping which uses oats instead of nuts. Follow the instructions for the topping on our Apple Pie Bars.
Hi Sally! This recipe looks wonderful! One question- is it possible to make the crumble mix and leave in the refrigerator overnight? And then just sprinkle it over the pie before cooking. Thank you!
Hi Beatriz, If you refrigerate the topping, the butter will re-solidify and may be more difficult to sprinkle over the pie. If you are in a time crunch you can certainly try it, but just keep in mind it won’t be as soft.
I love the flavor of the filling, the spices are divine; I used 3 granny smith and 2 pink lady, but I would switch that around next time as I prefer a less tart filling. I had the same issue with the topping starting to burn after just 20 minutes, so covered with foil for the rest of the bake and it was fine. However, I had to bake this for a full 30 minutes longer than called for to get it to bake fully. After 35 mins many of the apples were still crisp and it wasn’t until about 50 minutes that the filling even started to bubble. My oven tends to run hot, so I’m not sure what happened. But just have to be flexible and use your senses when baking. a lovely and delicious pie, thank you Sally!
Please help me, I have never tried this before, and my son really wants me to bake him this. Is your crumble the same recipe for your crust?
Hi Alta, we’re happy to help. The crumble recipe (for the top of the pie) is listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. For the bottom crust, you can use our pie crust recipe (or our all butter pie crust if you prefer). Note that the pie crust recipe makes two crusts, so you will only need one for the bottom of this pie. Hope this helps and that your son enjoys the pie!
Tasty pie overall. The apples cooked well and the outer crust was golden brown. The problem was the bottom of the crust was soggy and appeared under cooked. Should the sheet pan be pre-heated before placing the pie in the oven?
Hi Adam! Sounds like your pie simply needed more time to bake in the oven – an easy fix for next time!
This has to be one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. I used your pie crust recipe which turned out good – I think I just need to practice making crust some more. I loved the way the filling smelled, just like Christmas.
“The crumble topping compliments the apple filling perfectly.”
That should be “complements.”
A slight overlook in editing- thank you!
I’ve made plenty of your cake and cookie recipes from this site, but this was my first from scratch pie. It was absolutely delicious! The crust was perfect and flaky and the apple filling was tender and so tasty. I used oats instead of walnuts for the crumble and topped with vanilla bean ice cream. Will definitely be making this again and again.
Decided to make this for my first-ever from-scratch pie, for Thanksgiving with my parents. (No pressure.) I used pecans in place of walnuts. I noticed, like many other commenters as I panic-searched, that the nuts darken very quickly- in my case, they were verging on burned after only the first stage of baking. So after I lowered the temp, I moved the pie to the lower oven rack and tented it with foil, and the nuts (plus the rest of the crumble topping) got darker still. (Didn’t have to worry about the crust because I didn’t quite have enough crust to form a proper edge, and it all got covered up with the filling.
Fortunately, my family all said it didn’t taste burned, and that the pie was overall great. Phew! Next time, I’ll have to try out the oat-based crumble topping I’ve seen suggested in the comments, and see if the oats don’t burn as fast. May also start tenting the pie even during the hotter baking stage, too.
I made the apple crumble pie for first time. I used the Oronoque pie crust. Followed the directions. Tasted delicious but when slicing the pie it crumbled. It wasn’t a perfect pie slice.
I really like this recipe. I have adopted it as my own, with a few changes. My favorite change up is using pecans instead of walnuts. Then I warm a slice in the microwave, top it with ice cream and caramel, and its out of this world! Thanks for publishing this.
Hi Sally! Super easy and great recipe. Question – Can you freeze an uncooked pie to then bake at a later date?
I always freeze unbaked and bake the next day. It works fine! I start at 425 for 20 min, then apply a crusty shield and continue at 375 as instructed. Keep checking the crumble topping, because it will stay turning brown faster because of the higher start temp. I place a pice of foil on top as soon as it looks nice and brown. (I do use gluten free flour, I’m not sure if that makes a difference). I hope this works for you too!
Unfortinately, the pie crust linked is way too thin and flaky for such heavy volume of apples and filling, making it nearly impossible to cut a clean piece of. What a shame! Use the all butter recipe instead, it’s thicker, and tastes better!
Were you supposed to take the baking sheet off after first 20 mins? The pie crust didn’t seem to bake all the way with this. Didn’t seem all the way done. I made the crust with another pie and it did bake without baking sheet though, and looked more done. Can I put the pie back in to bake more after it’s been out ?
Hi Angie! No, leave the baking sheet in under the pie the whole time. You can continue baking as needed!
Hi there! This will be my third time making this pie, but the first time using a store-bought crust (Pillsbury. Don’t kill me, my fellow bakers!) I think I know the answer but wanted to double-check—should I pre-bake the store-bought crust before adding the filling? Or should I bake all at once?
Hi Hannah! Follow the instructions above, even with a store bought crust. Enjoy!