By Christie Vanover | Published November 22, 2022 | Last Updated November 29, 2022
What is apple crumble pie?
There are essentially two ways to make an apple pie. Traditional apple pie is made with two pie crusts – a bottom crust and a top crust.
An apple crumble pie is made with one flaky pie crust on the bottom, and instead of adding a top crust, the apples are topped with a buttery, sweet crumb topping.
If you like your apple pie filling to be a little ooey and gooey, you’re going to love this recipe. I’ve had plenty of apple pies where the shingled apples are a little dry. The secret to avoiding that is to use brown sugar and white sugar.
The brown sugar has molasses in it, which dissolves as the apples bake to create the perfect apple pie consistency.
In addition to the below filling and topping ingredients, you will also need an unbaked pie crust. You can buy pie dough at the store, or make my recipe for the Best Flaky Crust.
Apple Pie Filling
Apple Crumble Topping
How to bake apple crumble pie
- STEP ONE: Start by peeling, coring and slicing the fresh apples. I use a handy tool called … wait for it … an apple peeler corer slicer. It does exactly that.
You pull the crank back, place the apple on it, and rotate the handle. As it moves forward, a blade removes the peel while another blade slices the apple. At the same time, the core is being carved out.
Every pie plate is a little different. To confirm you have enough apples for your pie, place the apples in the dish. If the pie looks full, that’s the perfect amount. I’m using a deep dish pie dish, so I’m using 7 apples.
You’ll see some of the peeling didn’t get removed. It’s okay if you leave some, or you can trim it off in the next step.
Once the apples are peeled and sliced, use a knife to slice them into quarters.
- STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl, combine the apple slices with the sugars, corn starch and spices. There is no need to add lemon juice to prevent browning, because this process is pretty quick. Besides, the apples turn brown with the sugar and spices anyway. Set this bowl aside.
- STEP THREE: In a medium bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Blend them together with a fork or pastry cutter until they form a crumble. You could also mix it together in a food processor, but I find a bowl is a lot easier to clean.
PRO TIP: For a twist on the modern apple crumble pie and a nod to historic recipes, I add beef tallow to my crumble topping. Beef tallow is rendered down beef fat. It adds a unique richness. If you don’t have beef tallow or prefer not to use it, that’s cool. Just use all butter instead.
- STEP FOUR: Prepare your pie pan by lining it with an unbaked pie crust – either homemade pie crust or store-bought pie crust is fine.
- STEP FIVE: As the spiced apples sit in the large bowl, they will start to release juices. Adding that liquid can create a soggy pie, so carefully pour the spiced apples into the pie crust, leaving the liquid in the bowl.
- STEP SIX: Next, sprinkle the crumble topping over the spiced apples and press it around to the edges to completely cover the top of the pie.
- STEP SEVEN: Loosely cover the pie with foil and bake the pie in a 375F-degree oven or on a grill or smoker for 1 hour. Then, remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
PRO TIP: If you use a grill, it’s important to elevate the pie from the heat source so you don’t burn the bottom. To do that, place a pie or cake tin on the grill. Then, add a sheet pan on top. Finally, place the pie on the baking sheet.
Be sure the grill is setup for indirect cooking. If you’re using a gas grill, the burner under the pie pan should be turned off. Only the burners to the side of the pan should be used.
If using a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side and place the pan over the side without coals.
If you want to bake this on a pellet grill, just set the temperature to 375F degrees, but I still recommend elevating the pie to avoid burning the bottom.
How to serve apple crumble pie
Allow the pie to cool for a good 15 minutes. This will help the filling solidify a little, so it won’t fall apart when slicing.
Use a knife and cut the pie into 8 wedges. Be sure to cut all the way through the bottom crust. Then, carefully lift a slice out and place it on a plate. The first slice is always the hardest.
For a real treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Because there are no eggs in this recipe, the USDA says that it’s safe to store fruit pies, like apple pie, at room temperature for 1-2 days. Be sure to cover it with foil or plastic wrap. You can also store it covered in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
If you want to store leftovers in the freezer, I recommend wrapping the whole pie (dish and all) in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Then, wrap it in aluminum foil or slide it into a zip-top bag (if it will fit). This will help keep the air out, so you can keep it frozen for a few months.
You can also package individual slices in airtight containers and freeze them separately, so you can heat a single slice when you’re in the mood for a piece of perfect apple pie.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can freeze the pie after you add the crumble topping, before baking it. Wrap the pie in two layers of plastic wrap or foil and seal it in a zip-top bag. Then, defrost it for 2 hours before baking it according to the recipe directions.
No. If you want to leave out the beef tallow, use 5 tablespoons of butter.
The only difference is the crumble topping. If you want to turn this into a classic apple pie, omit the topping and top the spiced apples with an unbaked pie crust.
No. There is no need to pre-bake the crust. As the pie bakes, the crust will cook through.
You can leave it covered on the counter for 1-2 days. If you have leftovers beyond that, refrigerate it for up to 7 days.
Apple Crumble Pie
Apple Pie Filling
- 7 gala apples
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tbsp beef tallow*
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Prepare Pie Pan: Line a pie pan with an unbaked pie crust.
- Prep Apples: Wash the apples. Then, peel and core the apples. Slice the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices and quarter those slices. (See post above for the tool I use to make this step super easy.)
- Make Filling: Place the apples in a large bowl with 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon corn starch, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Gently toss to coat.
- Make Crumble: In a medium bowl, combine all of the crumble ingredients. Blend with a fork or pastry cutter, until combined. The consistency will be like small peas.
- Fill Pie: Remove the apples from the bowl (leaving the liquid) and layer them into the pie shell. Add the crumb mixture and press the topping all the way to the edges to cover the apples.
- Bake: Loosely cover with foil. Bake in a 375F degree oven for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes. The edges of the pie filling should start to bubble. (See instructions above to bake on a grill.)
- Serve: Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator