Apple Crumble Pie

published Oct 9, 2022
Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

The all-American classic apple pie gets crowned with an unforgettably crumbly top.

Serves8 to 12

Makes1 (9-inch) pie

Prep45 minutes to 50 minutes

Cook55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes

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Apple crumble pie sliced.
Credit: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

I always say that I love pie because I love eating buttery crust, so any pie with a double crust is extra tasty to me. But swap out the top crust with a sweet crumb topping and now you’re really speaking my language. This classic apple pie, filled with tender cinnamon- and nutmeg-scented brown sugar apple slices, gets heaped with a butter crumb topping before it’s baked until golden-brown. Each slice has three distinct beautiful layers, each with their own textures that work wonderfully well together.

What’s the Difference Between Apple Pie and Apple Crumb Pie?

A classic apple pie has a bottom and top crust, with the top crust sometimes woven into a lattice pattern. An apple crumb pie swaps out the top crust for a crumb topping that bakes up into a crisp, buttery, and sweet layer on top of the pie.

What Is the Crumble on Top of the Pie Made Of?

This crumble is a mixture of butter, dark brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon that is smashed together until small, crumbly pieces form. The crumble can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated. You can also make a double batch and freeze it so future apple crumb pies come together quicker.

Credit: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Apple Crumb Pie

  • Roll out the pie dough. Start by rolling out pie dough and getting it into a standard pie dish. Crimp the edges if you’d like. Chill to get the dough nice and cold.
  • Make the crumb topping. Make the crumb topping and also get that into the fridge to chill a bit too.
  • Prep the filling. Toss sliced apples with brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour for thickening.
  • Assemble the pie. Pour the filling into the crust and mound it slightly in the center. Top with the crumbs.
  • Bake. Bake until the top is golden-brown and the juices in the filling are bubbling, about 1 hour.
  • Cool before slicing. Yes, I know hot apple pie smells divine. The pie needs to finish cooking and setting, though, which it does even after it comes out of the oven. Ignore it for at least two hours so the juices thicken and don’t leak out when you start slicing.

Why Is My Apple Crumble Pie Not Crispy?

To get the bottom crust browned and crisp, as well as a crispy crumble topping, bake the pie at 400ºF. Also, don’t be afraid to let the crumbs and crust get a darker shade of golden-brown when baking to get the outside nice and crisp to contrast with the sweet juices of the filling.

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

The all-American classic apple pie gets crowned with an unforgettably crumbly top.

Prep time 45 minutes to 50 minutes

Cook time 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the pie:

  • 1

    store-bought or homemade flaky pie crust, thawed if frozen

  • 2/3 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 pounds

    Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples, preferably a combination (5 to 6 medium)

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

For the crumble:

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick)

    cold unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Roll out 1 pie dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch-wide round about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer into a regular 9-inch pie plate (not deep dish). Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Trim all but 1-inch of the overhanging dough. Fold the extra dough under itself and crimp with a fork or with your fingers. Refrigerate.

Make the crumble:

  1. Place 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Cut 1 stick cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter over the flour mixture. Squeeze the dry ingredients and butter together with your hands until they form large, moist clumps. Refrigerate.

Make the filling and assemble the pie:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat.

  2. Place 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a large bowl and stir to combine, breaking up any clumps of sugar.

  3. Peel 2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples. Halve and core the apples, then thinly slice. Add to the bowl of spiced sugar and toss to combine, making sure there are no clumps of sugar or flour left in the bottom of the bowl.

  4. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon over the apples. Juice the lemon until you have 1 tablespoon, then drizzle over the apples. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and toss to combine, making sure there are no clumps of sugar or flour left in the bottom of the bowl.

  5. Place the pie crust on the baking sheet. Transfer the spiced apples into the crust, slightly mounding the apples in the center; the pie plate will be very full. Scatter the crumble evenly over the top, going all the way to the edge of the crust. If some crumble falls off, just place it back on the pie and gently press down with your hands to help it adhere.

  6. Bake until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges, 55 to 65 minutes. Check 40 minutes into baking: If the crust starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil and continue baking.

  7. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The pie dough and crumble can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. Let the pie dough sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling out.

Storage: Cover leftover pie in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.