Apple Crumble Pie

slice of apple crumble pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a light green plate with a fork

overhead image of apple crumble pie with a slice removed

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. 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.

apple crumble pie in a white pie dish topped with a scoop of vanilla icing

Preparing it? Well, that’s a piece of cake pie. Hahahaha?!?!

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.

apple crumble pie filling in a pie dish

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 compliments 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!

crumble topping in a glass bowl

I do not skimp on the crumble topping. This is serious.

apple crumble pie in a white pie dish before baking

The more buttery, crisp, sweet topping = the more you have to enjoy with melty vanilla ice cream.

slice of apple crumble pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a light green plate with a fork

Print
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3 images of apple crumble pie

Apple Crumble Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • 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

Description

Deep dish apple crumble pie is heavy on the crumble topping!


Ingredients

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
  • 5 large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices* (approx 810 cups total – use a variety for better flavor, such as Pink Lady or Fuji and Granny Smith)
  • 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

Crumble Topping

  • 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

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Special Tools: Pastry BlenderRolling PinPie DishPastry BrushPie Crust Shield
  3. Apples: Slice your apples a uniform thickness. You don’t want some solid apples and some thin, mushy apples.
  4. Adapted from Salted Caramel Apple Pie.

Keywords: apple crumble pie

Nerdy things:

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?

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have a safe and celebratory holiday filled with fireworks, food, friends, family, and a second serving of pie.

287 Comments

  1. Sonam Kochar says:

    Wow! Your pictures, your recipes have made me a great fan of baking. Hat’s off to you! Tremendous & incredible new inventions you have given & so is this recipe. I tried it, the taste was superb. Thankyou so much.

  2. Apple crumble is probably my favourite ever dessert – but this looks similar in principle to the Soured cream apple crumb pie I sometimes make when we have visitors, a big hit with my husband.  Crumble – just can’t beat it…

  3. Francesca Ciampi says:

    O.M.G.  I’m in love with this recipe. I’ve only made 2 pies ever, and I found this recipe (and your pie crust recipe) incredibly easy to follow. My fiancé is allergic to nuts so I couldn’t add the walnuts so I just changed the recipe to a simple cold butter/flour/sugar crumble but everything else I followed to a T. Even measured grams! Thank you for your hard work in making recipes that everyone can replicate. You’re awesome Sally!

    1. Wonderful! Thanks so much for reporting back.

  4. Hi Sally
     Thank you so much for sending me all the nice and delicious recipes.
     May I know if the apple pie crumbs I dnt use walnuts will it be fine?
     Because my granddaughter are allergic to nuts
     Thank you
     Take care 
     Cheryle
     

    1. You can leave out the walnuts.

  5. Hello Sally!

    I just recently found your blog and I am really enjoying it!

  6. Isabella Coogan says:

    I love this recipe!!! I love your salted caramel apple pie, but my favorite is the blueberry peach pie! Do you think I could put this crumble on top of the blueberry peach pie? I LOVE crumble!

    1. Absolutely! That would be soooo good.

  7. sue griffore says:

    I know you listed quantity and size of apples……….any idea how many cups approx? Someone commented that the slices were 1/2″ thick? ……… was that in error? Really want to make this and would like to make sure I do the best I can. Thank you…

    1. 8-10 cups approx. 1/2-inch works!

  8. Could you sub peaches for the apples? If so, Would you change the amount of sugar in the filling?

    1. I’d leave out the lemon juice and adjust the sugar to your taste.

  9. Sally, this is a new fav recipe. The crumble, ahh the crumble!   I would like to know if I need to change the recipe at all if I were to prepare, freeze and then lets say, take out for the holidays to bake?  I have bunches of fresh apples waiting…. your sense of humor combined with food keeps me coming back 

    1. Thanks Louise! Wouldn’t need to change a thing– prep, immediately freeze, then bake. I’d let it thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.

  10. Can I add the caramel (like you do in your salted caramel apple pie) to this recipe?  Or would the caramel coming into contact with the crumb topping cause it to soften too much?  I wouldn’t want the crumb toping to become mushy!  Thank you.

    1. I wouldn’t add it to the filling. I’d serve the cake with it drizzled on top instead.

  11. Hi Sally! 

    I first want to tell you that I am a HUGE fan. I found your blog about two to three years ago and I have been a fan ever since. The first recipe I tried was your Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles and it was one of the best decisions that I could have possibly made. My boyfriend and I are lovers of all things peanut butter, caramel, snickerdoodle and sprinkles (particularly me) so finding your blog was like hitting an epically sweet and delicious mother load; like finding a Golden Ticket to Wonka’s factory. I know that he is eternally grateful that I found your site. I bake at least three of your recipes once a month. I’m stoked that you’re going to be at TCNJ and Whisk for your book tour, I’m looking forward to meeting you.

    Now that I’ve thoroughly embarrassed myself by fangirling, I do have a question. I saw your response to a comment about making this sans crust however, how would I go about doing that? Would I keep the apple (cutting them in half) and crumble ingredients at the same measurements and bake in a pie plate? Should I still bake for 20 minutes at 400F then an additional 30-35 minutes at 375F? Or is the added time necessary to properly cook the crust?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. LOVED reading this Jordana– thank you so much for taking the time to comment and tell me how much you love my recipes. I can’t wait to meet you!

      So yes– make the filling, but cut the apple slices smaller. Spoon it into a pie dish. Top with the crumble. Bake it at 375– no need for the 2 temps. Unsure of the exact bake time. Just until browned and bubbly. 40ish minutes I’d say? Let me know how it goes!

  12. Hi Sally, 
    I have finally found the time to make apple crumble pie. I have never had much success making pastry, but I followed your instructions and my pie is delicious. It is worth taking the time to make, although I  did have trouble when rolling out the dough it kept breaking as I went to place it over the pie dish it took me 3 attempts. When I did get it in the dish I needed to fill in some gaps but it worked out ok. I put it back in fridge for 10 minutes before cooking it as it took longer to roll out. The pastry cooked lovely, did not shrink and is crisp and crumbly. Thank you for your brilliant instructions I never thought I would be able to make such lovely pastry.  I really enjoy your blogs they always inspire me.

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful review on my apple pie recipe, Maria. Much appreciated! I love this recipe. I speak from experience when I say that pie crust takes quite a lot of practice and yes, quite a lot of time. Happy you aced it with this recipe!

  13. Went apple picking last weekend and picked extra just to make this apple crumble. Why have i never tried crumble before?!!! ordinary crust will not cut it anymore ! I will never go back ! So crumbly, sugary and buttery–drooling. It barely lasted two days in my house. Everyone loved it, thanksgiving dessert will never be the same- thank you sally <3 see you when you come to NYC ! Thank you for all the effort, detailed instructions and entertainment you give us 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Alyse! Not surprised you all loved this pie. Can’t wait to meet you.

  14. Just made this and it was SO good. My only confusion was that I made the apple filling first as directed, only it sat on my counter for about 30-45 minutes while I was waiting for the pie dough to chill in the fridge. By the time I was ready to spoon the filling on the crust, there was quite a bit of apple juice at the bottom of the bowl (perhaps 1/4 cup). I wasn’t sure if I should pour all of the juice in, or leave it behind and just spoon the apples in. On the one hand, nobody likes a watery pie….on the other, maybe the juice would thicken up in the oven? What do you think?

    1. So happy you loved it. Let me go ahead and add a note to not spoon in a lot of the excess liquid. Thanks for mentioning it Lala.

  15. Hi Sally!  I was wondering if you could tell me what pie dish you have and where you got it?  It’s simply adorable! 

    1. Hey Alyssa! This pie dish is from Home Goods. Here is a similar one: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/emile-henry-ruffled-pie-dish/?pkey=cpie-pans-tart-pans%7C%7C

  16. Hi Sally! I wanted to let you know that the gram measurement for the butter in the crumble is inaccurate. It says 38 grams but I think it should actually be 76 grams (to make 1/3 cup). My pies in the oven now and I couldn’t figure out why my crumbles weren’t as crumbly as in the picture, but I think you had based the calculations off 1 stick of butter rather than 2. I’m sure it will still be delicious! Love your blog and all your recipes 🙂 ! 

    1. Hi Meg! It should be about 75g. So sorry. Honest mistake!

  17. Hi Sally, I was wondering if I could use white sugar instead of brown in the crumble? Thanks!

    1. That’s just fine but you will lose a little flavor.

  18. I made two of these pies yesterday for dinner with our neighbors. The crumb topping turned out a little darker than yours. The butter was melted and cooled but I think next time I will just use soft butter pieces so it doesn’t get dark. I tented after 20 minutes and that was a must. The taste was spot-on; everything you want from apple pie. I will definitely make this for Thanksgiving.

    Oh as a P.S. I also made your pumpkin cheesecake squares a couple weeks ago and they were excellent too. Thanks!

  19. I made this pie earlier this week with apples that I picked! I’m not typically a fruity dessert gal- I tend to lean more towards chocolatey things, ha! But, I have to say I was totally blown away by this pie, this crumble topping is TO. DIE. FOR. I used a mix of pecans and walnuts, delish. I just made a second pie and its in the oven I’m planning on freezing it for Thanksgiving! Cant wait to WOW my family with this pie!! Thanks Sally!!! 🙂

    1. Yes I can attest to that! The crumble topping is the BEST!

  20. WOW ONE OF THE BEST APPLE PIES I EVER MADE, MY HUSBAND LOVED IT…EASY TO MAKE AND DELISH THANK YOU GREAT RECIEPE!!!!! LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKE THIS PIE FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

  21. I made this last weekend and was AMAZING!!!! It was gone in one day! Will be making again soon❤️

  22. Sally, I will be making this for T/day – is there a way to make the crumble a bit “oatey”?  I love the texture of oats in my streusel but am not sure if it may throw off the taste of this particular pie?  Am not opposed to making this as is but thought I would ask anyway 🙂  Thank you in advance!

    1. Feel free to sub in oats for the flour Faye.

  23. Hi-

    I’m new to pie baking and most recipes I’ve read call for the pie crust to be pre-baked.  Does this recipe not need that?  Just wanted to make sure I understand your directions.  Thanks for this recipe – it looks amazing!! 

    1. Generally cream pies need the crust prebaked (pies you are not going to bake). Fruit pies like this the crust bakes with the filling.

  24. Hi Sally,

    You have an awesome website. I’m curious, in your opinion, would the salted caramel sauce be too much to include on the side of the apple crumble pie?

    Thanks for sharing your detailed recipes. I’m excited to have found your website!

    Have a great day,
    Grace

    1. NEVER TOO MUCH! 🙂

      1. Excellent 🙂

  25. Hi! I am planning on making this for Thanksgiving (we are going to a friend’s house). I’d like to serve the pie warm. How long and at what temperature would you suggest for warming after already fully cooked?

    1. 300 for about 20-25 minutes

  26. Hi! If I am cooking in a nut free household, what should I substitute in the topping? I still want the same crunch that the recipe has. Thanks so much!

  27. I will be making this recipe tonight for Thanksgiving. If I am doubling the recipe to make two pies, how would you adjust the cook time so I can have them both in the oven at the same time? Thanks!

  28. I’m new to the pie baking scene, and I was just wondering – Is there a big difference between salted and unsalted butter? I bought sweet cream salted, then looked back at the recipe and realized it called for unsalted 🙁 

    1. You can use it but just cut down on the amount of salt in the recipe. For the topping it will be fine I’m sure but if you use it for the pie crust then definitively cut the salt in half for that or your crust will be too salty. 
      (Sally correct me if I’m wrong!)

      1. Thank you!! I bought frozen crusts because I just didn’t have time to make it from scratch, so that works 🙂

  29. I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone went crazy for it.  What a fantastic, easy recipe.  I made it with your pie crust recipe, which was also delicious.  Thank you!

  30. This apple Pie trumped my family homemade apple pie recipe!

    It is truly an amazing pie. I sticked to the recipe only used pecan nuts in stead of walnuts, 4 large apples and dark brown sugar for the crumble topping which was therefore quite a bit darker. Luckily I had one of your (1/2) pie crusts lying in the freezer, first time from frozen and works indeed great.

    Thanks so much!!

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