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

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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


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


  • 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


  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.


  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.


  1. Just wondering, but I’d love for my family to eat this warm, however you say to let the pie sit for 3 hours before digging in. How would you recommend I warm it up? I’m assuming popping it in the oven for 5-10 minutes would ruin it. Thanks

    1. I only suggest letting it cool for 3 hours so it is easy to cut. You can, however, serve warm but the slices may not be as “neat” 🙂

  2. Ever add cranberries? 

  3. Could you use a regular crust on top instead of crumble?

  4. I made this with pink lady and granny smith apples and used anjou pears as well. It was amazing! I’ve had requests to bring it to all 3 of the Thanksgiving dinners we will be attending this year!!! Thanks for a fantastic recipe 🙂

  5. What could I use instead of a pie crust shield? Aluminum foil?

    1. Yep, aluminum foil works.

  6. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving. It was my first time making a pie and it was amazing! I followed the instructions exactly. There isnt anything I would change! 

  7. Oh my this was a very pleasant surprise to our Thanksgiving dinner. I followed the recipe but I added about 1/4 oats to the topping to give it a more “crisp” like dessert and then I drizzled caramel over the top. What an easy and fantastic dessert.

  8. can you make this without the crust? any adjustments?

  9. I rarly comment on recipies, but I have made this pie numerous times since I found it on your website a couple of years ago; everyone agrees, including me, it takes the “award” for best pie ever — thanks!!  Setting up for a few hours is a great trick, too – really helps the pie settle so it slices easily – looks lovely.  I follow the recipe as posted except I double the topping to ensure there is plenty of that deliciousness to cover the entire top generously!

  10. I always find my walnuts in the topping burn! Do you have any advice for combatting this? 

    1. Lower the oven temperature slightly and cover loosely with foil 🙂 That will help!

  11. Hi Sally,
    My daughter is allergic to walnuts. If I leave them out, do you recommend any adjustments to the ingredients in the topping? Thanks!

    1. Nope! No changes necessary if you leave out the walnuts.

  12. Can you make the crumb topping without walnuts ote other nuts will it turn out as good. W have a lot of family members that can’t have them

    1. You can leave out the nuts.

  13. Hello Sally,
    I wanted to know if, after preparing the crumble, do I freeze it right away and then bake, or bake first and then freeze? In doing so, do I put the pie directly from freezer to oven or do I leave it to thaw in the fridge and then bake it when it comes to room temp?

    1. Hi Diana! I have the freezing instructions that I prefer (and recommend!) in the make ahead tip at the end of the recipe.

  14. Liesel Anthony says:

    Hi, my crumble is not very crumbly! It’s more like a paste. Any tips for getting it to resemble crumbs? Thanks!

    1. Hi Liesel! Did you alter the crumble recipe at all? You can always add more flour to help form crumbs. The paste would be from too much wet and not enough dry.

  15. Hello Sally,
    I hope you’re feeling well!
    I have a silly question to ask, and rather embarrassed at that, but, nevertheless, I’m going to ask, because, well I’m new at pie crusts…and I trust you!
    I pulled out one of the pie doughs, from the freezer, obviously using your recipe!! Well, I’ve transferred it to the fridge(from freezer to fridge), but I have no idea how long it can sit in the fridge. It’s Thanksgiving for us Canadians, I wanted to make the pie, and refreeze, but, Thanksgiving is Monday. Will the dough hold in the fridge for a couple of more days because I was planning to make the crumble on Sunday?

    1. Hey Diana! This isn’t a silly question AT ALL so don’t feel bad asking it! The thawed dough can sit in the refrigerator for a few days. I’ve had it in there for up to a week before! It’s all good. 🙂 So it’s ok until Monday.

  16. Hi Sally, I’m a long time fan <3 I've never been disappointed with any of your recipes, you are always my go-to dessert person! Haha. Ok, so my question here is basically what is your suggested "best before" time? I made 2 of the pies Sunday night and I keep them refrigerated but my dear boyfriend has been called to work out of town and won't be back until Thursday evening, should we just binge eat it Thursday or will it survive into the weekend?

    1. If it will be more than 5 days I would freeze it. See the make ahead/freezing instructions at the bottom the recipe for the best tips! But binge eating it is always an option too 😉

  17. Can I use frozen apple slices?

    1. I don’t suggest it– fresh is best.

  18. Eileen McGarry says:

    I’ve made several of your pie recipes and love them. Love that crust! I have one nitpicky comment because I’m a nerd too. If you leave the pie in the oven after 20 min – to reduce the temperature –
    don’t you let heat out of the oven when you are also at that point putting on the pie shield – while it’s in the oven? I’d probably burn myself too as I’m a bit klutzy. Anyway, I quickly take it out, pop on the pie shield and wait til the oven reaches the right temp again. Thanks for all the great recipes. My fave is the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars… although its hard to pick!

  19. Hi Sally,
    I’ve always added ground oatmeal (not whole pieces) to my apple crisps & pies. Is there a reason you prefer not to use any oatmeal?

    Btw, my son & I made your overnight cinnamon buns this morning. We didn’t do the overnight version but baked them right away. They are absolutely the best cinnamon bun recipe ever! I’ve always made a cinnamon bun that wasn’t quite as Rich more of a light bread dough and had never added cream cheese to the glaze. I’ll never go back to the old recipe again!

    1. Thanks Mary! I love those cinnamon rolls. This is more of a crumb crumble on top vs a streustel crumble (which typically has oats). If you’d like an oat streusel topping, try this one:

  20. I veganized this and it was sooo good! Used a butter flavored crisco pie crust, and replaced the butter in the crumble topping with Earth Balance. But seriously, the spices with the apples were the star of the show. I brought it to the last day of one of my classes and the whole thing disappeared! Thanks for a great recipe, and I hope my comments are helpful to anyone who’s vegan–this pie should be enjoyed by everyone! 🙂

  21. YUM!! The tip about making sure to get all the apple slices even was definitely helpful. And oh my gosh the topping! I wanted something sweet and dynamic enough to stand on it’s own without vanilla ice cream and this is definitely it. My roommate said she normally doesn’t really like nuts in desserts but enjoyed it here. I’ll definitely made this again!

    1. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it, Carly!

  22. Does the baking time change if I wanted to make this in a 9×13 glass Pyrex instead?

    1. Hi Miri! Bake time should stay about the same, but I recommend keeping your eye on it a few minutes before.

  23. Hi Sally,
    Could this crumble be used with the ginger peach pie filling?

    1. Yes, definitely!

  24. Sally, this is hands down the most scrumptious, delicious apple pie I’ve ever made. A total classic keeper! I almost doubled the apples (and used 4 varieties), cinnamon, flour, and sugar, and it turned out to be so ooey gooey good, totally the best! Ive been looking forever for a good apple pie recipe because I always loved my grandmothers growing up and yours delivers! Incredible! Love everything you do by the way…❤️

  25. Another great recipe! This was super simple to make. The crumble is more forgiving than a lattice pie crust but still looks festive for fall and the taste is great. This will be on repeat this season for sure!

  26. Hi! Can I make these into bars instead of a round pie shape? If so, what size dish should I use?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Hillary! This recipe makes a deep dish style apple pie and it would be too much for apple pie bars. I recommend making my apple pie bars recipe. You can use this crumble topping instead of the oat streusel if you’d like!

  27. Hi Sally!

    I am making this pie tonight for an event tomorrow. I typically make this and serve it while it’s still slightly warm, do you have a recommended way to heat it up a tad before serving tomorrow? I don’t want to put it in the oven for too long and accidentally burn it!

    1. Hi Aly! A microwave if your baking pan allows it? Or I would just throw it in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes. It’ll be slightly warm and perfect. Shouldn’t burn.

  28. I made this tonight using granny smith apples and followed the recipe exactly except I used a different crust. It turned out perfect! I let it sit for two hours before digging in with some ice cream and homemade caramel (from your book!). This was absolutely delicious! Thank you!

    1. You are welcome, Katy! I’m so happy you liked it!

  29. Lesley-Anne Burnett says:

    i made this today and served it this evening after our dinner to my mother-in-law. My son who is a loves to rate things out of 10 got everyone to give me their points and they all absolutely loved it! The pie crust reminds me of my grannys which made this just perfect. Thank you for sharing. I must look through your other recipes so that i can continue baking for others xx

  30. If I make this pie today Nov 11 2018 (with apples I picked fresh from an Orchard in MD) can I freeze it unbaked, then bake before US Thanksgiving? I know that you suggested baking the pie then freezing… just wondering. thank you !

    1. Yes yes! I do this all the time. You can freeze the unbaked pie, then bake the frozen pie. Just tack on some extra bake time.

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