This best ever apple and plum crumble recipe has been made many, many, many times. I make a crumble almost every weekend. I have been eating crumble since I was old enough to eat solids. It’s the mainstay of a British Sunday (apart from a roast dinner) and we, the Turners, are still not bored of it.
Fruit crumbles came from World War II Britain during a time of food rationing of ingredients like eggs, flour, butter, and sugar. Topping fruit with crumble instead of a pie crust meant that British home cooks could use much less of these scarce ingredients. My grandma grew up during WWII in the 1940s and can remember eating apple crumble as a child. I made this apple and plum crumble recipe for her birthday a few weeks ago and she said it must have been one of the nicest ones she has had – which I think is saying a lot.
Plums are such a versatile and therefore underestimated fruit. They are in season for a very long time too, from around May – October. In my opinion, late summer (August-time) is the best time to buy plums. They’re at their juiciest and sweetest thanks to all that summer sun. We had a glut of them in early Spring and whilst they might not be at their sweetest, they make a wonderful apple and plum crumble.
The secret to the difference between a dusty, dry and uninspiring crumble topping and the best crumble topping of your life is down to one ingredient and making sure you have enough of it. Butter. This recipe holds the perfect butter to flour ratio that I have tested many, many times. It turns out a little like a shortbread crust that melts in your mouth.
Most importantly of all, this is the easiest recipe too. No pre-stewing or cooking. It’s all in one dish. Just serve with some home-made custard.
Apple and Plum Crumble Recipe
For the crumble
- 150 grams plain flour
- 50 grams golden caster suagr
- 100 grams butter fridge-cold
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the fruit
- 4 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1 inch chunks
- 6 stoned and quartered plums
- 50 grams sugar
- 1/5 of a lemon, juiced
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the crumble topping
In a food processor, add the flour, cinnamon, butter and sugar and blend until the mixture is a little like breadcrumbs. If you don't have a food processor, very gently rub the cold butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour together with the very tips of your fingers until you get something like breadcrumbs.
Put the crumble mixture in the fridge until you need it to stop the butter from melting.
For the apples and plums
Dice up all your fruit and place it in some water with the juice of half a lemon to stop them going brown.
Once all the fruit is prepared, bundle it into a medium-sized high-sided baking dish, making sure the plums and apples are nicely mixed together.
Add the sugar to the fruit and tumble the diced fruit in it. Then add half a mug or so of water.
Flatten out the fruit with your hand and pile the cold crumble mixture from the fridge on top.
Bake immediately in the oven for 35 minutes, being careful not to burn the top.
Once it's done, you should be able to put a knife through the fruit with little resistance.
Let it rest for 10 minutes. A perfect time to heat up your custard. Or prepare it if you're mad like me.