Plum and Apple Crumble

September 10, 2013

Apples and Plums

Here I am, typing to you from England where everything is so very British and familiar. Buildings are ancient. It rains, then shines, then rains again. Everyone understands everything I say (at least I think they do, if not, then they’re too Britishly polite to tell me my accent has been mangled). I’m home and it feels pretty wonderful. The only thing missing is my mister, but I’m working hard on changing that and getting him over here quick-sharp.

On my third day back in the UK, I drove out to Wasing Park in Berkshire with my best friend and her dude, to see where they’ll be getting married next summer. Afterwards we three stopped into her future in-laws for coffee and cake and left with a heavy bag of cooking apples and a smaller bag of plums, picked that morning from their garden.

Plum & Apple Crumble

I was slightly giddy at this gift and knew pretty quickly that a crumble was in the making. Plum and apple crumble! It just seems brilliantly British. I love the lack of fuss in a crumble and how it becomes a jumble of soft warm fruit, crunchy topping, and cold-but-rapidly-melting ice cream.

I didn’t expect to have an opportunity to bake nearly so soon after moving (ahem, please excuse the iPhone photos) and I spent a lovely hour peeling, coring, and chopping apples, then softening them over heat with the plums under a generous dusting of sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest.

As the crumble baked, I tap-tap-tapped away at my keyboard but soon enough I was completely distracted by the smell and by the time my friends were home from work, the crumble was cooling and I’d already eaten a bowlful which soon became three helpings. Let’s just call it dinner and leave it at that.

Apple and Plum Crumble

Plum and Apple Crumble
adapted very slightly from Good Housekeeping

I found this to be a delightful crumble – the topping is pretty substantial yet light, with a lovely crunchy sweetness giving way to a really perfume-y mix of plums and soft cinnamon-scented apples. Do taste your apples and plums before adding sugar. My crumble was quite tart, which I liked with the sweet topping and is magnificent with the addition of a scoop of ice cream, but you may prefer to add more sugar.


  • 6 large plums (or 10-12 little ones)
  • 3 Bramley apples (or other cooking apples), about 500g (1lb 2oz)
  • 50g (2oz) light brown soft or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the crumble topping:

  • 175g (6oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 125g (4oz) butter (or non-dairy alternative), chilled and cut into cubes
  • 50g (2oz) rolled oats
  • 75g (3oz) demerara sugar


  1. Preheat oven 200°C/400F. Halve and stone the plums, then roughly chop and put into a large pan. Peel and core the apples, roughly chop, and add to the pan with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and 5 tbsp water. Cover and heat gently until apples are softening, about 5 mins.
  2. Empty fruit into a shallow, ovenproof serving dish. Set aside.
  3. To make the topping, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the sunflower spread (or butter) with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine rubble. Mix in the oats and demerara sugar, then scatter the topping over the fruit.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Try to serve it immediately (it can bake as you eat dinner) or re-heat it 10-15 mins before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream (optional).
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle September 11, 2013 at 1:18 am

Mmm. I have a freezer for the (optional) vanilla ice cream… but if only I had an oven, too. Welcome home :)


Mamen September 11, 2013 at 2:14 am

I love this recipe! I will try it for sure :P

Have a nice day!


Kathryn September 11, 2013 at 11:34 am

Lovely to see you back baking and with something so properly English. I fully support crumble + ice cream as a dinner choice too.


Stephanie September 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

What a lovely gift! And thank you for the idea of putting plums and apples together in a crumble — perfect for this time of year. Also, speaking of crumbles and plums, I used to make a heavenly plum-pear pie with a crumble topping. Obviously, I need to go out and get myself some plums, as the options are endless. (:


Angharad September 13, 2013 at 6:14 am

Plum-pear pie sounds so good, Stephanie! I still have a bunch of plums leftover and am trying to decide what an earth to do with them…maybe I need some pears :)


John F September 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

I am going to make this for my wife.

Try a pear and cheddar pie. Yum!


lucie September 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

So autumnal! I could eat this right now =]


Megan September 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I’m glad you’re getting settled! Here’s hoping your husband can join you shortly! I’m still sad we never got to hang out in Minneapolis!


Skye October 28, 2013 at 8:02 am

Nothing more british than apple and plum crumble. And this one looks heavenly. Love the photos.


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