Inside this apple crumble are a number of tender apples and crumble topping that provides plenty of sweetness and crunch. This is an original German recipe that has been passed down for generations, thanks to my friend Ines’s Oma. It’s a simple recipe that uses just a little more than a handful of ingredients and I have to say, what makes it particularly special is how the sugar and butter caramelize in the oven to form an amazingly delicious crumble crust.
It’s an apple crumble that everyone raves about, one that always has them coming back for more. And because Oma’s Apfelkrümel has developed such a reputation over this years, it’s fine time it be shared. This recipe pretty much remains true to “Oma’s” original version, with a small adjustment to the amount of butter (Oma used a hefty 250 g) and Ines likes to lightly “steam” the apples by adding a splash of apple juice when sautéing them so very slightly in butter before adding them to the springform.
Truth be told, I have never tried it myself since I am not sweets or dessert person (crazy I know!) — unless of course it’s something super healthy! But as I said, everyone loves Ines’ family recipe, she let me share. So this weekend I baked an all-time favorite, comes together perfectly every single time, Apfelkrümel recipe. One to be shared.
For the filling:
7-8 large apples (mix of Boskop and Elstar work well), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon butter
splash of apple juice
For the base and crumble topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour or white spelt flour (Type 1050) (250 g)
1 cup fine granulated sugar (200 g)
1 teaspoon baking powder
200 g butter
To garnish (optional):
1. Preheat the oven to 390°F / 200°C and grease a Ø 24 cm round springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
NOTE: You can also use the oven’s fan-force at 360°F / 180°C as it will make a more crispy and caramelized crumble topping. Keep an eye on it though to make sure it doesn’t brown too much.
2. In a large, deep skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples and stir, then add a splash of apple juice (not too much otherwise the base will be soggy later). Sauté for a few minutes; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Whisk the flour, sugar, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Cut the butter into dry mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
TIP: I like to pop the butter in the freezer until it’s hard and then grate the frozen butter through the large holes of a box grater directly into the dry ingredients and then let my fingertips do the rest of the work. Alternatively, use two knives (or a pastry blender) to cut the butter into the flour until you have little tiny bits of butter. Then take over and crumb the mixture by rubbing it together with your fingers.
4. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the crumble mixture over the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Press it down and up the sides of the pan. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 5-6 minutes (pre-baking is optional, but helps avoid a soggy base. IMPORTANT: keep an eye on it, as it browns quite quickly).
5. Remove the springform from the oven and scatter the apple slices over the base. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour, until golden brown.
6. Remove the apple crumble from oven and let cool completely before removing the sides of the springform pan.