Plum & Apple Crumble is a moment in the making but you’ll be thinking about the tart fruit filling and slightly gooey but crunchy crumble topping all week. There is no better way to use a glut of plums or apples than in this classic easy baked dessert which is made without oats.
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After the revelation that I love blueberries when I made my Apple & Blueberry Crumble, I’ve been on a bit of a crumble kick. And with my intense love of Plum Curd, plum crumble seemed like a natural progression.
I’ve made plum crumble with just plums before and loved it. But as I loved the apple so much in the blueberry version, I wanted to try the mix. And bingo! It was perfect.
The actual recipe is very simple. The crumble topping part is identical to my other crumbles. The crumble is made without oats which I generally think makes crumbles a bit too dry. My crumble is soft underneath and crunchy on top – the perfect combination.
There are little tweaks to my fruit layer. It depends on how juicy your fruit is whether cornflour is needed to thicken the sauce or not. And there are two factors to determine if sugar needs to be added. The first is how naturally sweet the fruit is. And the second is personal preference.
Personally I prefer my desserts on the sweeter side. So with plums not always being the sweetest here in the UK, I’ve added a little sugar. If you are a fan of tart fruit then you can go ahead and leave it out.
More Fruit Crumble Recipes
How to Serve Fruit Crumble
You can serve any fruit crumble hot or cold. But traditionally it is served hot. Crumble is a comfort food and a cold Sunday afternoon is it’s natural habitat.
I actually prefer to serve my crumble warm rather than piping hot. As we all know, cooked fruit and sugar can be nuclear hot when it comes out the oven. So giving it 20 minutes to sit and literally chill, just makes for a less hazardous eating experience.
Custard, cream or ice cream?
The choice is yours. I’ve started opting for cream rather than custard with my crumble. I think its because I do tend to make it on the sweeter side so unsweetened cream is a good counter balance.
Make Plum & 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!
I already mentioned that hot puddings like crumble are very traditionally served with a roast dinner on a Sunday here in the UK. They’re absolutely eaten at other times of the week. And not just in winter. So please don’t feel restricted by when you can make and enjoy one!
If you are feeling like a roast but nothing too heavy, my Paprika & Sage Butter Roast Chicken is ideal. Served with Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Rosemary Potato Cubes and a spinach salad with Maple Cherry Tomatoes – its a lighter take on a delicious meal.
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 Apple & Plum Crumble
You can use any plums. Because it is baked, this recipe is even a good way to use up any that are just shy of ripe. And it is the best way to use any that are overripe.
What variety you choose doesn’t matter. I tend to use purple skinned varieties like victoria. You can use yellow varieties like mirabelle or even greengages and damsons. The recipe is totally forgiving.
I’ve written the recipe by weight of plums because they can wildly vary in size. The only thing you need to do is remember to remove the stone.
If you have frozen plums, you can use them in place of the fresh without any problem.
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 extra 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 plum 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.
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 always use salted butter in my baking. And I use salt in all my baking. Please add extra salt if you insist on using unsalted butter. 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.
It is less important what sugar you add to the fruit layer. It is optional whether you add any at all. I found the crumble far to tart without it but it seems to be split 50/50 on preference. If you like things tart, leave it out. If you have a sweeter tooth, add it in.
Apple and Plum crumble is super flexible. So flexible that in theory you could leave out the apple or plum. Or replace them entirely. As long as you keep the overall quantitiy of fruit similar to that in the recipe. And take into account the natural sweetness or otherwise of the fruit, you’ll be good.
The crumble topping is lovely and simple. This means that you can throw it on top of basically any fruit mix. Or pimp it up a little. I add ground ginger to the topping in my Peach & Ginger Crumble. This mirrors the ginger in the fruit base. So you can add your favourite spices. Ginger would actually be an amazing addition to this plum crumble.
You can also add to the plum and apple fruit layer. Again ginger is a great complementary flavour to plum so adding some chopped stem ginger would be delicious.
Orange is another great flavour to add – I would add orange zest for the maximum flavour hit. And vanilla and plum is a classic combo so you can add a little vanilla extra. Just don’t go overboard it it can become sickly.
I also sometimes add a little alcohol to the fruit. Cointreau/triple sec would add that orange note. Bourbon or spiced rum would add deep smoky vanilla notes. Pour with your heart, not your head!
Vegetarian Apple & Plum Crumble
This recipe is naturally vegetarian.
Vegan Apple & Plum Crumble
It is pretty easy to make a vegan fruit crumble. Simply switch the butter for a plant based substitute. Look for a block type version that is trying to have a buttery flavour – this will help both the texture and the taste.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from egg and nuts.
Gluten Free Fruit Crumble: 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.
Dairy Free Fruit Crumble: 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 Plum 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 is fabulous to make ahead of time. In fact I quite often make a triple batch and freeze two portions for another time. (This is when I break out the food processor to make it!).
The topping will freeze in a sealed bag or container for months and can be baked straight from frozen. It will also happily sit in the fridge for up to a week providing it is covered appropriately.
I am not so keen on making up the fruit mix ahead of time unless I am freezing it. Apples have a tendency to discolour very fast. I use the lemon juice method to prevent browning while putting the crumble together. But that won’t keep the apple in good shape for very long.
So saying this you can put the whole crumble together a couple of hours in advance at the most. Just make sure that the crumble is covering all the fruit layer.
What you can do is chop the fruit and freeze it in portions. You can then dump the frozen fruit into the dish, add fresh or frozen crumble and bake from frozen. It will need another 15 to 20 minutes in the oven if you cook from frozen.
Or you can allow the frozen fruit to thaw and then proceed as normal.
The whole assembled crumble will also freeze well.
Leftover Apple & Plum Crumble
I love leftover crumble. I actually might prefer it to fresh crumble. It reheats really well in the microwave. You can also reheat in the oven if you prefer the topping to crisp back up. Air fryers are quite good for that sort of thing too.
You can of course simply eat leftovers for dessert on another day but I highly recommend leftover crumble for breakfast. Simply serve with some yoghurt and thank me later.
Leftovers will last a few days in the fridge or can be frozen too.
Oat Free Plum & Apple Crumble Tips
Don’t be scared to adjust the sugar levels to your taste. This is one recipe where I won’t shout at you.
You can also adjust the ratio of crumble to fruit. I like a good 50/50 mix but you can adjust either way.
I suggest piling the crumble thicker in the centre of the dish and thinner around the edges. This is so the fruit can do that nice bubble up around the edges thing. And you get a nice variety of textures in the crumble topping.
Beware diving straight into crumble coming straight out the oven. The fruit will be piping hot and the sugars will burn you.
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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Plum & Apple Crumble (Recipe Without Oats)
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
- 500 g Fresh Plums
- 400 g Apple
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 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.
- Halve, remove the stone then halve 500g Plums again. Slice into chunks and tip into a baking dish.
- 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 plums. Sprinkle over 2 tbsp Sugar (if using) then give everything 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.