This easy Apple & Blueberry Crumble is super simple to throw together. Adding bursting berries is a brilliant twist on a classic apple crumble that you have to try. The crumble topping made without oats is soft and comforting but still lovely and crisp on top. Tasty perfection!
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This recipe came about rather by accident. It was a convergence of a request for fruit crumble from a friend and a huge amount of cheap blueberries coming my way.
I don’t like apple crumble (I’ve always been a solid Peach Crumble girl). And I don’t like blueberries so I had no real intention of even eating this, never mind sharing the recipe. Until I tasted it. And it turned out neither of these things is true. In fact it turns out that I love blueberries. They’re delicious. Why did nobody tell me?
I’ve made this recipe to be in the region of half apple and half blueberry. Whilst I was able to find a bunch of cheap berries, I know that isn’t going to be the case for everyone. Or probably for me ever again. They can be on the pricey side so a 100% blueberry crumble felt excessive.
The apple in the recipe also provides some sharpness to counteract the sweetness of the berries as well as providing some bulk. You can easily play around with the ratios if you want. But I actually think I hit on the perfect balance so please try the recipe as written first.
Crumble Topping Without Oats?
So why have I pointed this fact out? I grew up with crumble based on the recipe from the Be-Ro book. The ingredients were simple – butter, flour and sugar. Using self-raising flour gives the crumble topping lift and keeps it light and a little bit more cakey than dry.
It is really common for modern crumble recipes to use oats in the topping. Or for them to take it one step further by using granola etc. And many use plain flour. Or don’t include a raising agent. This makes the finished recipe much more like an American fruit crisp.
Crisps are great in their own right. But to me they’re really quite different from a classic fruit crumble. I know that others feel the same so I want to signpost and point out that this crumble recipe does not use oats. This recipe treads a delicious line between crumbly, crispy, soft and ever so slightly gooey underneath.
How to Serve Blueberry Apple Crumble
Hot with lashings of custard is the obvious answer. And I am 100% going to recommend this way. I am a solid Bird’s custard girl – the powder in a tub that is mixed with sugar and milk kind. Not the instant, just add hot water kind. I’m not a total heathen.
But I’ve actually more recently come across to the dark side and started serving my crumbles with lashings of double cream instead. There is something about the cold smooth cream that just comes together with the hot berry crumble in a symphony of gloriousness. If I have clotted cream to hand, that is my number one preference.
I know many folk enjoy some ice cream with their crumble. But I find it a little too much of a contrast of hot and cold for my taste. But each to your own.
I would generally advise sticking to a relatively neutral flavour of ice cream – vanilla is ideal. Something with more of its own flavour like strawberry or salted caramel might clash too much with the apple and blueberry.
As for serving the crumble cold, well of course you can. I know of several people who would happily huff half the dish straight out of the fridge.
Make Blueberry & Apple Crumble into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
It is of course most traditional here in the UK to serve a crumble on a Sunday after a roast dinner. It is pure comfort food following comfort food and the tradition remains in many households across the country.
But please don’t feel restricted – this is a glorious dessert or even a sweet snack at any point of the week.
Is anybody going to complain about a dinner of Corned Beef & Potato Bake followed by crumble? Or a feast of Oven Fried Chicken Thighs, Mexican Corn on the Cob and Coriander & Garlic Rice followed by crumble? No, I don’t think so either.
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Easy Apple & Blueberry Crumble
I use regular eating apples as that is what I am most likely to have on hand at any given moment. It is perfectly ok to use cooking apples like bramleys instead. If they are terribly tart, it might be wise to add a tablespoon or two of sugar into the fruit.
I both peel and core the apples. And then slice them fairly small and thin. This is so that they take a background note in the crumble and allow the blueberry flavour and texture to shine. It also means that they cook and soften easily within the same time that the topping takes to cook through.
I have used fresh blueberries but the recipe works just as well with frozen. Tinned or canned blueberries don’t seem to be readily available but you could of course use these too if you have them.
It is worth spending a moment making sure that there are no little stalks in the blueberries. And that any bad ones are discarded. There sadly always seems to be one or two in the carton.
The recipe uses self-raising flour (self rising) which just gives it a little lift. The crumble doesn’t bake up like a cake but it does make a slight difference with the texture.
If you prefer to use plain flour and add baking powder you can do this. Charlotte over at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen has a great helpful guide for How to Make Self-Raising Flour.
You can actually just use plain flour if you don’t have any baking powder. It will still be good, just not amazing.
I use salted butter in all my baking. And I use salt in all my baking. Use unsalted butter if you must but please add extra salt. Salt enhances flavour and without it, the topping will be bland.
It is also best to use actual butter rather than margarine. This both helps the texture and the flavour of the finished crumble.
It is also important that the butter is fridge cold when you start making the crumble.
It doesn’t matter if you use granulated or caster sugar (regular or superfine). But please make sure to use white sugar not brown. An unbleached white sugar is fine.
The cornflour is essential in this recipe to make sure that all the juice from the berries doesn’t just run everywhere. As the filling cooks, the cornflour mingles with the juices and thickens the sauce.
I wouldn’t attempt to sub in flour instead. It is likely to just clump.
Other Fruit Crumble Ideas
This crumble topping recipe can really be used to top almost any fruit. And the options are endless. I love to used canned or frozen fruits. So a forest fruit mix is great, black cherries are one of my favourites and I even use cans of fruit cocktail!
Of course you can use fresh fruits and berries. If I’m not using them to make curd, plum is a great crumble filling. Its hard to avoid apples in the autumn and I know many people love pear crumble too. Earlier in the season, rhubarb crumble is ubiquitous.
There are two things that you need to take into account when preparing other fruits. How juicy are they? And how sweet/tart are they? Anything juice giving will need cornflour. Anything tart will need some sugar. And for the most part, anything expensive can be bulked out with something cheap – like apple.
Other flavours to add to the crumble Topping.
As for the crumble topping, this can be used as is on any of these fruits.
Or you can add in some spices. I add ground ginger to my Peach & Ginger Crumble recipe. So if you are a cinnamon lover for example, you could add some for an autumnal apple crumble.
Nuts can also make a nice addition. Some finely chopped pistachios work well with plum and I like to pair crushed hazelnuts with various berries.
More unusual crumble flavours
Don’t be scared to venture far from the norm. How about a mango crumble with added desiccated coconut in the topping. Or pineapple? Its always worth a try. (Disclaimer – I have not yet tried this so it remains a suggestion to try at your own risk!)
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians.
To make a vegan apple and blueberry crumble, you will need to use a dairy free butter alternative for the crumble topping. But that shouldn’t be too difficult – there are many block type butter alternatives readily available nowadays.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from egg and nuts.
Gluten Free: It should be fairly easy to sub in a white gluten free flour blend on a 1:1 basis. Just remember that if you are using a blend without raising agents, you will need to add gluten free baking powder.
Cornflour is gluten free so that will not need to be subbed.
Dairy Free: The butter is the only dairy in the recipe so simply swap it for a dairy free alternative.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Apple & Blueberry Crumble
I prefer to use a speed peeler to take the skin off my apples – I feel like I lose less flesh than by using a knife.
It is nice to present the finished crumble at the table so I tend to use something good looking. But also the thickness and retention of heat works well to ensure the crumble is cooked evenly.
Making Crumble Topping in a Food Processor.
I’ve written this recipe for the crumble topping to be made by hand. I don’t tend to want to dirty the food processor for just one small batch. But if you prefer to use a processor or are making a larger batch, you can do so.
- Measure the Self Raising Flour and Salted Butter into the processor bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces as you add it.
- Pulse until the butter is no longer visible. It is ready when the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a pulse function, turn the processor on for a second at a time then turn it off. Just keep repeating doing this.
- Measure in the Sugar and Sea Salt Flakes then pulse again a couple of times to combine and evenly distribute them in the flour butter mix.
It is worth noting that a stand mixer isn’t really suitable for this job.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The crumble topping mix will sit in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. It can also be frozen. If you make crumble regularly, it is a good idea to make a big batch then freeze it in portions. You can add it to the fruit and bake from frozen.
I don’t however like to prepare the fruit so far in advance. This recipe includes a step to toss the sliced apple in lemon juice which does stop the apple from discolouring. But it won’t prevent it in the long term.
But once you assemble the whole crumble and add the topping, the apple should keep for a couple of hours. At a stretch it may even keep overnight.
Keep it in the fridge if making more than an hour or two in advance but bring it up to room temp before cooking. Or cook it for an extra 10 minutes from chilled.
You can also freeze the whole assembled crumble. Just make sure to wrap it thoroughly and defrost before cooking.
Leftover Blueberry Crumble
Leftovers will keep for around 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
My preference for reheating would be to give each portion a couple of minutes in the microwave. You can reheat in the oven but I think this risks it drying out.
You can also freeze the cooked crumble. Just defrost and reheat as normal.
Top tip – Serve with yoghurt for breakfast!
Apple & Blueberry Crumble Tips
Feel free to adjust the ratio of crumble topping to fruit. I like my crumble generous so that is how this recipe is written. You can reduce the crumble quantities and increase the fruit quantities if you prefer.
The quantities given for the fruit are in general really flexible. So you can more or less just use them as a guide. Please don’t only use half an apple because it makes up the right weight. Or leave 8 blueberries in the container. Throw them in!
Please don’t dive straight in with a spoon. I appreciate the enthusiasm but the cooked fruit will be scalding hot. Just be careful!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Apple & Blueberry Crumble
For the Crumble Topping
- 200 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 100 g Salted Butter - cold
- 100 g Sugar
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 2 tbsp Demerara Sugar (Turbinado Sugar)
For the Fruit Filling
- 450 g Blueberries
- 1 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 400 g Apple
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Preheat the oven to 180c fan | 200c | 390f.
- Measure 200g Self Raising Flour and 100g Salted Butter into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces as you add it.
- Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. It is ready when the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Measure in 100g Sugar and ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes then stir into the flour butter mix until evenly distributed.
- Set aside the crumble mix for the time being.
- Tip 450g Blueberries into a baking dish. The blueberries should make roughly 2 layers in the bottom.
- Sprinkle over 1 tbsp Cornflour and toss the blueberries until they’re evenly covered. Set aside.
- Top, tail, peel and quarter 400g Apple. Slice the core out and slice each quarter into thin slices.
- It is best to do this an apple at a time. Once the first apple is sliced, add it to a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp Lemon Juice. Keep adding the apple slices to the same bowl and toss to coat in the lemon juice. This will stop the apple from turning brown.
- Tip the apple slices on top of the blueberries. Give them a mix in the baking dish – just so everything is evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit.
- Heap the crumble up more in the middle of the dish and keep it thinner at the edges.
- Lightly sprinkle 2 tbsp Demerara Sugar over the top of the crumble for extra crunch.
- Bake for 50 minutes then serve warm.