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Home Recipes Apple Crumble Pie
fork taking a bite of apple crumble pie al a mode.

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.

overhead of apple crumble pie.

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.


Ingredients

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 ingredients: apples, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, cloves.

Apple Pie Filling

  • Apples: Choose firm, tart apples like Gala or Granny Smith apples.
  • Sugars: This recipe uses white and brown sugar.
  • Spices: Cinnamon and ground cloves.
  • Corn Starch: This will help thicken the filling.
crumble topping ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, beef tallow, cinnamon.

Apple Crumble Topping

  • Flour: I recommend using all-purpose flour for the best overall taste, but you can experiment with other flours.
  • Sugar: Use white sugar, because it will help create a crispy crumble.
  • Butter: This is what holds everything together and creates the wonderful flavor.
  • Beef Tallow: I like to use a bit of beef tallow for added flavor. If you don’t want to use beef tallow, just use butter.
  • Cinnamon: To add more of that fall flavor.
bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

How to bake apple crumble pie

  1. 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.
apple going through apple peeler, corer, slicer.

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.

7 peeled apples in pie dish.

Once the apples are peeled and sliced, use a knife to slice them into quarters.

sliced peeled apples.
  1. 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.
apples in bowl seasoned with sugar and spice.
  1. 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.
apple crumble topping mixed in bowl.

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.

  1. 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.
pie crust formed in pie tin.
  1. 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.
overhead of sliced apples with bowl of juice next to it.
  1. 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.
overhead of crumble pressed onto apple pie.
  1. 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.
pie on sheet pan on grill covered with foil.

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.

overhead of apple crumble pie.

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.

overhead of apple crumble pie.

For a real treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

slice of apple crumble pie with ice cream.

Storage

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

  • Use a peeler, corer, slicer tool to make prepping the apples much easier
  • Mix some brown sugar with the apples to guarantee a velvety filling
  • Try adding beef tallow to the crumb topping for added richness
  • If baking on a grill, be sure to elevate the pie to avoid burning the bottom

Frequently Asked Questions

Can apple pie be made ahead?

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.

Do I have to use beef tallow in this recipe?

No. If you want to leave out the beef tallow, use 5 tablespoons of butter.

How is this different from a classic apple pie?

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.

Should I prebake the bottom crust for apple pie?

No. There is no need to pre-bake the crust. As the pie bakes, the crust will cook through.

Does apple crumble pie need to be refrigerated?

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.


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5 from 1 vote

Apple Crumble Pie

Apple crumble pie is the perfect fall dessert, because it has a luscious spiced apple filling with a crisp crumbly topping.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

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

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp beef tallow*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

*Beef tallow adds a wonderful richness to the topping. If you prefer not to use it, use 5 tablespoons of butter, instead of 4. 
You can freeze the pie after you add the crumble topping, before baking it. Wrap the pie in two layers of foil and seal it in a zip-top bag. Defrost it for 2 hours before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 148mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 5gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 309IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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