This apple crumble consists of tender baked apples, a crisp, buttery apple crumble topping, and a secret ingredient. Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
There’s nothing like a serving of apple crumble. The undeniably comforting dessert has a lot to offer, including the toasty topping that greets you and the warm cinnamon apples. The thing is, many crumbles are packed with refined sugars, resulting in that “I need to hit the
gym couch, STAT” feeling. Instead of heading towards the sofa, this apple crumble is quite nutritious, thanks to a few good-for-you ingredients. No worries, it still tastes indulgent. I simply made a few swaps to create a version of the classic sweet treat we can all feel good about.
In addition to those swaps, my secret ingredient takes the apple crumble over the top. What is it, you ask? PB2, specifically the chocolate-flavored one! For those unfamiliar, PB2 is a nutrient-dense peanut product. It’s a good source of fiber and protein and imparts this lovely nutty chocolate flavor to anything from smoothies to desserts. I was introduced to the product years ago, recently came across it at Target, took some home with me, and the rest is history. I love the stuff!
Why You’ll Love This Apple Crumble
- A tasty surprise – This version delivers what you expect from an apple crumble. It is buttery and toasty, the apples are at the forefront, and there’s cinnamon. Then you’re gifted with a surprise, thanks to PB2. A little in the apple crumble topping and filling adds a touch of chocolatey peanut buttery goodness you didn’t know this dessert needed.
- Healthy ingredient swaps – Honey replaces brown sugar in this crumble recipe. I opted for oats instead of flour, and Earth Balance (the vegan butter alternative) is used instead of butter. Those simple changes make this recipe vegan, refined-sugar-free, and fiber-packed.
- Quick and easy – This recipe takes just over an hour to prepare and bake, so you can quickly have a delicious homemade dessert on the table.
- Fresh, warm, and comforting – Enjoy the crumble straight from the oven when it’s still warm and the apples are soft and tender.
Apple Crumble Ingredients Notes
For this apple crumble, you’ll need the following:
- Apples: You can use any apples you like for this recipe. I went with a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. The tartness of Granny Smith apples with Honeycrisps’ sweet-tart balance suits the dessert well. They’re also firm varieties which is what every apple crumble needs.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the best choice for this recipe. It helps thicken the juices released by the apples as they bake.
- Honey: I used honey to sweeten the crumble and filling. Its sweetness is anything but one note, and that depth works well in this dessert.
- Earth Balance: It works just like cold butter. Fat is needed to make a crumbly, buttery topping that holds its shape.
- Oats: Rolled oats add a toasty, nutty flavor and a bit of texture to the crumble topping.
- PB2: After trying this once, you will NEVER make another apple crumble without it. PB2 breathes new life into the classic dessert!
- Cinnamon: The warm spice gives the apple crumble its signature aroma. An apple dessert wouldn’t be the same without it.
Find the complete ingredients list with measurements in the recipe card below!
How to Make Apple Crumble
- Prepare the filling: After you peel, core, and slice the apples toss them with the honey, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, and PB2. Do this with a large spoon or tongs. You can also get in there with your hands.
- Make the crumble topping: Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix with a fork. The goal is to cut the fat into the dry ingredients to achieve coarse crumbs.
- Assemble and bake: Transfer the apple filling to a skillet or casserole dish (make sure they’re in an even layer, then evenly sprinkle the crumble over the apples. Once done, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. When ready, the crumble will be golden brown, and you’ll see the filling bubbling beneath the surface.
Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Use a different fruit – You can substitute the apples with pears. Pears will create a different flavor profile but don’t differ as dramatically as other possible substitutes like berries. However, berries and the peanut butter chocolate flavor of PB2 pair very well.
Add nuts – Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumble topping for crunch. Almonds work well too!
Add spices – Enhance the warm spice notes with nutmeg and/or ground ginger. You can also add spices to the crumble topping for extra flavor.
Make it gluten-free – Use gluten-free all-purpose flour in the filling and double-check to ensure that the oats are gluten-free. Although naturally gluten-free, some oats are processed in a facility where they may come in contact with grains containing gluten.
- I. Apple Filling
- 3 pounds peeled apples (quartered) (I used Granny Smith and Gala)
- ¼ cup honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 TBS. flour
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 TBS. PB2 (chocolate flavor)
- II. Crumble
- 1¼ cup rolled oats
- About 4 oz. of Earth Balance (chilled and cubed)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 TBS. honey
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 TBS. PB2 (Chocolate flavor)
- In a large bowl, combine the apple slices with the rest of the apple filling ingredients. Toss together until well-coated. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crumble and (using a fork) mash together until well incorporated.
- In a skillet (or casserole dish) layer the apples, then sprinkle the top with the crumble.
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- To serve, top with your favorite ice cream or a drizzle of caramel or honey!
Try these dessert recipes next!