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Apple Crisp with Custard on a white plate with ice creram and a red handle fork

Apple Crumble Recipe with Custard

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Apple Crumble Recipe with Custard is a classic autumn dessert except with a sweet vanilla custard added to the apples before baking. Plus, the buttery crumble topping is out of this world. This Dorie Greenspan Apple Crisp Recipe has an ice cream like sauce coating every sweet apple nugget!

I found some Northern Spys, my favorite pie baking apple, and as soon as I spotted Dorie’s recipe, I knew her Easy Apple Crisp would be on our menu. The unusual addition of custard was a game-changer. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, there was comfort in every bite.

Apple crumble on a white plate with a scoop of ice cream

Easy Apple Crumble Recipe

I love an easy apple crisp or crumble recipe in the fall, and with a picky hubby, an apple crisp without oats is imperative. He eats oatmeal for breakfast on the weekends, so I just don’t get it! Thank goodness Dorie’s recipe was perfect. I’ve finally started cooking from her Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook (affiliate link) cookbook! Another winner!

Our oldest was by a couple of times last week and he was smitten with this easy apple dessert…even without ice cream the second go ’round! It was the combination of using delicious baking apples and the custard mixed in with the apples that made for such a simple yet spectacular dessert. If you love apple crisps and crumbles, you must give this recipe a try!

Apple crumble with a scoop of ice cream on a white dessert plate

What is the Difference Between Crisps, Crumbles, Cobblers, and More

There are so many fruit dessert recipes with similar toppings, but different names. Dorie’s recipe is very much like the Easy Apple Crisp which I make at least once a year. But I wanted to do some research to find out the exact definitions of these desserts. I turned to my  Food Lover’s Companion.

  • Crumble: A British dessert with raw fruit baked with a crumbly pastry mixture on top. The topping doesn’t usually contain oats.
  • Crisp: Just like a crumble but with oats in the topping. Oops, my crisp is really a crumble!
  • Cobbler: A deep-dish fruit dessert with a biscuit topping.
  • Buckle: An American term for a one layer cake made with berries, most frequently blueberries.
  • Grunt or Slump: An old-fashioned stewed dessert made of fruit topped with biscuit dough.
  • Betty: An American dessert from colonial times. It’s a baked pudding with layers of spiced fruit and buttered breadcrumbs. Most notable is the Apple Brown Betty.
overhead view of apple crumble in a white ceramic pie plate
How to Make an Apple Crumble?

An apple crumble or crisp is really a very easy recipe. The apples are tossed with sugar and spices, then topped with an oat-free crumble made with butter, sugar, and flour. Finally, it’s baked until the fruit is tender, the filling is bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.

But to make a crumble with custard, the cream, eggs, and flavorings are whisked with the sugar, etc. then tossed with the apples. It’s like baking vanilla ice cream with the fruit!

How Long to Bake an Apple Crumble?

An apple crumble will take from 45-60 minutes, but will depend on a few variables. The kind of apples you choose, the way your oven bakes, and the recipe you use will affect the baking time.

Does an Apple Crumble Need to be Refrigerated?

Typically, no. But with cream and eggs in the filling, this crumble needs to be refrigerated.

Can You Freeze an Apple Crumble?

Yes, you can freeze a baked or unbaked apple crumble for up to 3 months. It should be wrapped airtight before freezing. To bake, first defrost the frozen dessert overnight in the refrigerator. It may need some extra baking time to account for the chilled filling.

More Apple Desserts You’ll Love:

Serving of apple crumble with a scoop of ice cream on a white plate

Apple Crumble with Custard

An easy apple dessert with a luscious custard mixed into the apples and a buttery crumble on top.

Recipe from Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan.



  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes (I use salted, but if you use unsalted, add in 1/4 teaspoon salt).
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Crumble Filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds apples (Dorie recommends Golden Delicious, Fuji or Gala. I used Nothern Spys, my favorite pie apple)
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • I tablespoon Calvados or dark run
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract


To make the streusel, whisk together the flour, both sugars, and cinnamon. Add the butter and toss together to coat the butter. Squeeze together the mixture with your fingers to break down the butter until moist crumbs are formed.

To test, pinch some of the streusel to make sure it holds together. Sprinkle with the vanilla and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Add the apples to a 9-inch pie plate. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, toss and spread the apples evenly in the dish.

Whisk together the cream, egg, and egg yolk to blend. Add the Calvados or rum and vanilla, then pour over the apples making sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies.

Top with the streusel, tapping it so it adheres to the apples.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the pie in the center. Bake 50-60 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender. Let cool to warm or room temperature to serve. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Swap out the apples for pears or peaches for a change of pace.

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11 comments on “Apple Crumble Recipe with Custard”

  1. Anything with buttery crumble topping is totally right up my alley. This is a perfect Fall dessert, Liz.

  2. No doubt this would be a big hit with my crew! Happy Holiday Planning Liz:@)

  3. This looks so delicious Liz, I could genuinely eat these all day long. Perfect for holidays

  4. I am a huge crumble/crisp lover, and this version looks and sounds great! You’ve elevated a classic apple crumble with custard to a new level. Baked custard? Yes please!
    Also, Buckle, Grunt (Slump), and Betty – I’ve never heard of these recipes. Thanks for the guide!

  5. Love the little splash of rum! Rustic desserts are huge winners in our household and we have everything to make a batch tonight.

  6. I would recommend that anyone making this double the custard as you can barely tell it’s present and maybe add a little sugar or cinnamon to it. The recipe isn’t bad, but needs a little something.

  7. Oh, man! this looks terrific. Love apple desserts, and you’ve really ramped up the flavor of this one. Great dessert. Perfect breakfast. 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Now this is Not your average crumble. I’ve pinned and can’t wait to try it, it sounds great.

  9. Am I missing something?  The directions for the streusel say to add salt, but none is listed in the ingredients.  How much salt should be added?  Thanks!
    Looking forward to serving this at Thanksgiving with a dollop of Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream!

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