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An apple lover’s apple crumble that highlights its fresh fruit flavor (and doesn’t bury it in sugar)

By America’s Test Kitchen, Tribune Content Agency on

1 teaspoon table salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sliced almonds, chopped fine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons water

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lowest positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cinnamon together in large bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking pan with at least 2-inch sides and press into an even layer. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the sheet to the oven and bake on the lower rack for 35 minutes.


2. While apples bake, whisk flour, almonds, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until combined. Add melted butter, vanilla and water and stir with a spatula until clumps form and no dry flour remains.

3. Remove the sheet from the oven and smooth the top of the apples with a spatula. If the apples have not collapsed enough to leave at least 1/4 inch of space below the rim of pan, replace the foil, return the sheet to the oven, and continue to bake 5 to 15 minutes longer.

4. Scatter the topping evenly over the apples, breaking up any clumps larger than a marble. Transfer the sheet to the upper rack and bake until the topping is evenly browned and the filling is just bubbling at the edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.

Recipe notes: We like Golden Delicious apples because of their ubiquity and consistent quality, but this recipe also works with Braeburn or Honeycrisp apples or a mix of all three. You should have 4 pounds of apples before peeling and coring.

Dark brown sugar gives the topping a deeper color, but light brown sugar will also work.

Do not use a glass baking dish here, since it retains heat after baking and may cause the apples to overcook. If you like, serve the crumble with ice cream or lightly whipped cream.

(For 25 years, confident cooks in the know have relied on America’s Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. See more online at




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