Apple and blackberry crumble is the ideal way to ease into autumn. Wild blackberries, picked from the hedgerows add jammy flavour to this quick & easy to assemble dessert. Try serving it with custard on cooler days or with ice cream should an Indian summer emerge.
This post was first published in Sept 2021 but updated in January 2023 with additional information.
A serving of apple and blackberry crumble is the ideal way to cross the line between summer and autumn.
Wild blackberries are ripe and ready for picking around late-August and early September, so this knockout dessert is particularly good at this time of the year.
However, this easy-to-make and utterly irresistible British pudding can be enjoyed all year round. Just use frozen or store-bought fruit when they are out of season.
Try serving this apple and blackberry crumble with warm and soothing custard in the colder months. On warmer days, opt for vanilla ice cream or, even better, a scoop of clotted cream to make this dessert shine.
Why make this apple and blackberry crumble?
Fruit crumble is a universally popular British dessert, and here’s why you should consider making this apple and blackberry crumble recipe:
- It’s quick and easy to make (assembly takes 15-20 minutes).
- And it can be made in advance (it can even be frozen).
- Plenty of blackberries are included.
- It’s full of sweet, jammy fruit flavours with just a hint of spice.
- And it’s piled high with a classic crumble topping.
The ingredients in this easy apple and blackberry crumble are rather humble. It’s a mix of seasonal fruit topped with a very simple classic combination of flour, butter and sugar. Here’s a little in-depth information about a few of these ingredients to help you get the best out of this recipe.
Apples: this recipe has been devised using cooking apples (Bramleys are best). These apples emit a lot of liquid during the cooking process, so I have included cornflour (cornstarch) to turn this liquid into a sauce. It is therefore not advisable to use eating apples in place of cooking apples in this recipe.
Blackberries: I’ve used wild blackberries in this fruit crumble recipe. Wild blackberries are generally smaller than cultivated ones. Store-bought blackberries also generally taste a little sweeter and can be juicier than their wild counterparts. If you are using store-bought fruit, it may be necessary to cut large berries in half and also add a little more cornflour to compensate for the additional liquid the fruit emits as it cooks (see recipe notes for further details).
Flour: I’ve chosen to use spelt flour since it adds a lovely gentle nutty taste to the crumble topping. I’m a huge fan of spelt flour, but if you do not have any to hand then plain flour (or a mix of plain and wholemeal flour) will work well too.
Butter: use proper butter for the best-flavoured crumble topping. If you are following a non-dairy or vegan diet, butter can be swapped for a dairy-free alternative. In this instance, add an extra pinch of salt to the crumble mix to boost the flavour.
Sugar & spice: A small amount of demerara sugar mixed into the crumble topping and a little sweet spice mixed in with the fruit serves to add depth of flavour to both components of this apple & blackberry crumble recipe.
Full instructions and measurements are given in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
This apple and blackberry crumble recipe is very easy to make:
- Mix the flour, 60g granulated sugar and salt together in a bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers. Keep on rubbing until the mixture looks like large breadcrumbs then stir through the demerara sugar.
- Mix the cornflour, remaining granulated sugar and spice together in a bowl then peel, core and chop the apples into medium-sized pieces. Toss the apple and sugar mix together.
- Lay half of the apples into the base of a deep oven-proof dish and scatter with half of the blackberries. Repeat the remaining apples and berries.
- Spoon the crumble topping over the fruit, covering it entirely (do not press it down).
- Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Use digital scales. They are invaluable when it comes to any baking recipe as they are so much more accurate that cup measurements.
- This apple and blackberry crumble recipe has been developed using cooking apples. Regular eating apple are not a suitable substitute.
- Don’t forget the cornflour when preparing the fruit base – this is essential to create a sauce around the fruit and avoid an unappetising liquid at the bottom of the pan.
- If, after 30 minutes in the oven, the topping looks as if it is fully cooked cover it loosely with foil to protect it from burning and continue to cook for the full 40 minutes to ensure the apples are tender.
- Plain flour or self-raising flour can be used in place of spelt flour.
- Add a little cinnamon to the crumble topping for a little extra spice.
- Turn it vegan by swapping the regular butter for a vegan butter and adding in an extra pinch of salt. It’s also a good idea to check the sugars you are using are vegan too, since not all of them are.
- Make it gluten-free by exchanging the topping for this one. There is no need to replace the cornflour in the recipe as this is a naturally gluten-free product.
- Once assembled, put the crumble dish onto an old baking sheet to catch any sticky liquid that may bubble over the edge as the crumble cooks. It’s far easier to clean a baking sheet than the oven bottom and shelves.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this apple and blackberry crumble can be made in advance. It’s best to prepare and bake this recipe as instructed, as the apple will brown once cut. Once made, let cool, then cover and store in the fridge until required. Reheat for 20 minutes at 150C/ 300F.
This blackberry crumble can also be frozen after baking. Allow to defrost fully before reheating as instructed above.
Allow any leftovers to fully cool then cover and either store in the fridge for up to 48 hours or freeze for up to 3 months.
Take your pick from the following options:
1. custard (especially on cooler days)
2. single cream
3. vanilla ice cream (my top choice on warmer days)
4. evaporated milk
5. whipped cream
6. creme fraiche
7. clotted cream (happy sigh)
There is a common misconception that this flour is gluten-free. I’m afraid it is not. Spelt is a form of wheat and does contain gluten. It is reportedly easier to digest and contains less gluten than modern wheat, but spelt flour does contain gluten.
Spelt is not suitable for anybody who has celiac disease or people suffering from other forms of gluten sensitivity. For this reason, an alternative gluten-free flour will need to be used in this recipe if serving to anybody with gluten intolerance.
More crumble recipes worth making
Have you made this recipe for apple and blackberry crumble? If you have please give it a rating or leave a comment – I love to hear how you get along with my creations.
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Apple and Blackberry Crumble
- )1 x large ovenproof dish around 5cm deep (pictured circular dish is 24cm diameter but slightly large is fine)
- 750 g Cooking apples e.g. Bramleys
- 300 g Blackberries wild (see notes if using store-bought)
- ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- 185 g Granulated sugar
- 1½ tablespoons Cornflour (cornstarch)
- 175 g Spelt flour or plain/ self raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 90 g Butter
- 30 g Demerara sugar
Make the Crumble Topping
- Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM 4
- Put the flour, 60g granulated sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and stir briefly
- Cube the butter, add to the bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Keep on rubbing until the mixture looks like large breadcrumbs
- Stir through the demerara sugar
Prepare the Fruit
- Mix the cornflour, the remaining 125g granulated sugar and spices together in a bowl
- Peel, core and chop the apples into medium-sized pieces (roughly 1½-2cm). Avoid cutting the apple too small as it will cook too quickly and may break down too much, giving a mushy texture
- Put the apples into a bowl, add the sugar mixture and toss together until all the fruit is covered
- Lay half of the apples into the base of the oven-proof bowl and scatter with half of the blackberries. Top with the rest of the apples, followed by the remaining berries. Scatter any leftover sugar mix over the fruit
Assemble and Bake
- Spoon the crumble topping over the fruit, covering it entirely. Do not press the topping down
- Place the crumble dish onto an old baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes until golden
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving
- Use digital scales. They are invaluable when it comes to any baking recipe as they are so much more accurate than cup measurements
- This recipe has been developed using cooking apples. Regular eating apple are not a suitable substitute
- Don’t forget the flour when preparing the fruit base – this is essential to create a sauce around the fruit and avoid an unappetising liquid at the bottom of the pan
- If, after 30 minutes in the oven, the topping looks as if it is fully cooked cover it loosely with foil to protect it from burning and continue to cook for the full 40 minutes to ensure the apples are tender
- Plain flour or self-raising flour can be used in place of spelt flour
- Add a little cinnamon to the crumble topping for a little extra spice
- Turn it vegan by swapping the regular butter for vegan block butter and adding in an extra pinch of salt. It’s also a good idea to check the sugars you are using are vegan, since not all of them are
- Once assembled, put the crumble dish onto an old baking sheet to catch any sticky liquid that may bubble over the edge as the crumble cooks. It’s far easier to clean a baking sheet than the oven bottom and shelves