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.

Why You Must Make

  • Apples are always in season, so this is an easy recipe you can make any time of year!
  • It’s comfort food at its best especially served warm with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream
  • This apple crumble has custard (which is basically like melted vanilla ice cream!) mixed with the apples to make a richer version of a traditional fruit crumble.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You 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. It’s then baked until the fruit is tender, the filling is bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.

But to make a crumble with custard, cream, eggs, and flavorings are whisked with the sugar, etc. then tossed with the apples. It’s like baking vanilla ice cream with 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 all play into determining 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 overnight in the refrigerator

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

Apple Crumble with Custard

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 8

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.



  • ¾ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 1½ tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes (I use salted, but if you use unsalted, add in ¼ teaspoon salt).
  • ½ teaspoon real vanilla extract

Crumble Filling:

  • 1 ½ pounds apples (Dorie recommends Golden Delicious, Fuji or Gala. I used Nothern Spys, my favorite pie apple)
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados or dark run
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Top with the streusel, tapping it so it adheres to the apples.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the pie in the center.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.
  9. 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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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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