This vegan apple crumble is a crowd-pleasing dessert. There's a secret ingredient for a moist and flavourful crumble topping, and two varieties of apple make a delicious filling.
I can't think of many occasions when apple crumble and custard wouldn't go down a treat. Sunday lunches, family suppers, fancy dinner parties... crumble is a welcome guest anywhere, any time.
This is a failsafe recipe with a few handy hints to make a really sensational crumble, just like Grandma's, (or better!). This is quite a big crumble - it will serve 8, but it also freezes well or keeps for a few days in the fridge to keep the crumble moments happening right through the week.
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What you need to make your vegan apple crumble
Apples I've always used half and half cooking apples and eating apples in crumbles and pies, and have done so here. The cooking apples are tart, and turn quite mushy as they cook. The eating apples are much sweeter and hold their shape. So when you use both, you get a mushy, apple-y sauce with beautiful chunks of firm apple, and just the right level of sweetness. I used Bramleys and Braeburns, but any good eating apples will do.
Cornflour is a secret ingredient in the apple filling to give you a glossy thickness to the apple 'sauce'. If you don't have any you can just leave it out but it really does add something lovely to the filling.
Apple Juice is used here to add an extra apple-y kick to the filling, (though you can just substitute with water if you don't have any handy).
Dairy-free butter The 'block' butters are best for rubbing in to flour (rather than a tub of spread). I used the new Flora Plant Butter, but I also love Naturli butter if you can find it.
Dairy-free cream This is the 'secret ingredient' in the crumble mix I mentioned. A tip I picked up from master baker Dan Lepard in his book 'Short and Sweet'* - rubbing some cream (or milk) through the crumble mix to stop it being too powdery, and more crumbly. 2 tbsp is the absolute maximum though, or it will turn into a ball of dough. If you're using a food processor instead of rubbing in by hand, go lightly and add it just splash by splash.
Variations on your vegan apple crumble
There are so many ways to mix up this basic crumble recipe. How about
- Mixing some jumbo oats through the crumble mixture and sprinkling more over the top, for a flapjack-style crumble top?
- Adding dark chocolate chips to the crumble mix and serving with chocolate custard, (melted dark chocolate stirred through your usual vegan custard of choice)?
- Adding blackberries, raspberries or cherries to the apple mix for some variety
- Using pears instead of (or as well as) apples?
Freezing your apple crumble
You can freeze this crumble either before or after cooking - what a treat to find in the freezer on a cold evening!
If you freeze before cooking, you will need to defrost it fully before putting in the oven, or it will cook unevenly and the edges will burn whilst the centre is still frozen.
If you freeze after cooking, you can just microwave it to defrost and reheat. It won't be quite as crisp and crumbly as when you first made it, but still a lovely treat.
What else can I make with apples?
If you're working your way through a big haul of apples from your apple tree, here are a few more ideas for you from blogging friends:
- Chris' Apple & Hazelnut Sweet Pizza from Thinly Spread
- Jac's Red Apple & Treacle Fruit Cake from Tinned Tomatoes
- Bintu's Air Fryer Apple Chips from Recipes from a Pantry
- Choclette's Apple & Parsnip Soup from Tin & Thyme
- Kavita's Apple, Date & Ginger Chutney from Kavey Eats
or take a look at my:
- Sticky Toffee Apple Cake which is like an apple upside-down cake with toffee sauce, or
- Oaty Apple Traybake which is a deliciously moist apple cake with a very crunchy demerara topping.
And of course, you will be needing my all-important Vegan Custard recipe to go with your crumble - so easy to make, it takes just 5 minutes - just blitz, heat and serve.
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
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Vegan Apple Crumble
For the crumble:
- 250 g plain flour
- 125 g dairy-free block 'butter'
- 100 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp dairy-free cream
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar (optional)
For the apple filling:
- 1 lemon
- 4 cooking apples eg. Bramleys
- 4 eating apples
- 70 g soft light brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 60 ml apple juice (or water)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
For the crumble:
- Tip the flour and butter into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir the sugar and cinnamon into the mixture.
- Add the dairy-free cream and rub through the mixture with your fingers. Set the crumble mix aside.
For the apple filling:
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a large bowl.
- Peel and slice the apples, tossing the slices in the lemon as you go to stop them turning brown.
- Toss the sugar, cinnamon, cornflour and apple juice through the apples.
- Tip the apple mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
- Tip over the crumble mix and spread out evenly. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crumble is turning golden brown and a little juice is bubbling up at the sides of the dish. Serve with vegan custard or ice cream.
I'm linking this post with the CookBlogShare blogging challenge hosted this week by Cat at Curly's Cooking