Making apple crumble

Transcript item

We're going to make apple crumble together. It's a really simple recipe with only six ingredients. It's very popular in the UK, and it's a firm favourite in my family. Next thing you need to do is get all your ingredients together. So that's my first tip, because if you've got all your ingredients out, then you won't forget anything, which I often tend to do. Next, put your oven on gas mark six, or 200 degrees Celsius. Now that you've done that, let's get cracking. So, this is where you need to assemble your ingredients. So we've got one and a half kilos of apples.

I like a mixture of apples, so I've got Granny Smiths and some – I think these are Gala type of ones from New Zealand. So that's one and a half kilos of apples. And then we have 60 grams of soft brown sugar. You could use light brown sugar, or you could even use white sugar. I just quite like it. When it cooks, it's a bit more caramelly. Then we've got 100 grams of white sugar. We've got 50 grams of butter, and 100 grams of plain flour. Oh, and the secret little ingredient here we've got, which is lemon zest. So I've just grated this lemon zest, using this side here on the grater, so you get just quite fine bits of lemon skin, really.

Lemon zest. Lemon peel is not skin. Here we go. OK, so the first thing we're going to do is take your apple and peel it. So this is your peeler, and we need to just peel it. Now I get quite a lot of satisfaction if I can do it in one go, but of course, you don't need to do that. I just don't know. I just quite like it. Nearly there ... there we go. Look at that. How cool is that? So we're going to stick that in our compost bin. So just another pot to stick that in. Then you just need to cut it. Now just make these into cubes.

They don't have to be the same size as such. Roughly the same size would be good, but it's not a biggie. You have to work with this quite quickly because your apples will start going brown because they're in the air. But again, they're going to be cooked, so there's not too much of a problem. Put that into the pot, and get all your apples, peeled and ready to go. OK, so we're now going to add some – turn your flame on. Oops. And just add your apples. Now you can see I've got a little bit of skin still, and they've started going to be a little bit brown, but that's fine because they will start cooking.

And what I wanted to say was, I forgot to say, the green ones are really quite tart. They sort of make you screw your face up when you're eating them. Whereas the red ones, the red apples were very quite sweet, and they've also got a different texture, too. So we're going to put that on there. Next, we've got the sugar, remember. Oops. That didn't exactly shake out. Let's stir that in. So once that all sort of melts down, and that would be just so yummy and crumbly. Well, not crumbly. More sort of caramelly. That's the word I'm looking for. And then we've got some lemon. So I'm going to stick that lemon in there, too. That's it.

Now, I'm just going to leave that on now.

Stir it in a bit. Have it on quite a low heat. So I'm going to pop the lid on.

And just leave it for a while cooking. So now that the apples are cooking, and just all the sugar in the apples are going together into something yummy, we're going to make the topping. So the crumble. Now, again it's really, really easy. So you've got your flour here, plain flour, it's 100 grams. You've also got your butter. So just cut it into cubes, and place that inside.

So just with your hands, just rub it. I don't know if you can see that, so you just got the butter and the flour mixing together and you sort of rub it in. I can't explain it. I actually quite like doing this. Gradually, the butter should mix in with the flour. So you're just sort of smoothing the butter inside the flour. Can you see? It's nearly there. Now some people quite like a thick crumble, some people like a thin crumble. So if you want to make it thick, just do more of this. Right. I think that's pretty much done. Next bit, just add your sugar in. Mix it around.

I tend to use my hands, cause I quite like it, but you could use a spoon, of course. There we go. Just move it into the centre so you can see. A couple of bits of butter still, but that's OK. And I tell you what, that's it. Already done. Don't forget to check on your apples now. So I'm now going to take the lid off. There you go. Looking nice and soft. Oh, you should smell it. Mmm, mmm, mmm. It's delish. There's quite a lot of liquid in there, from the apples, so I'm going to leave the lid off now, and just let it simmer down a bit, and then the liquid will go.

So you can see that's all mushed down now. And there's a little bit of liquid, so I quite like liquid in mine. So I'm going to turn off the heat now. So we'll just transfer the apple, cooked apple.

Even it out a bit.

Now here's your crumble mix that we made earlier. So we're going to just gradually put that over the whole thing.

Cover up the fruit as much as possible.

I quite like to press it down.

Now as I said before, some people quite like a thick crumble. I quite like mine thin to be honest, but I think my husband prefers it a bit thicker. So that's now all ready to go in the oven.

Right, so I've just taken it out of the oven. And that was in there for about 25, 30 minutes. Maybe a little bit too long, because as you can see it's just starting to get quite dark. So it's now piping hot, so I'm just going to put some in a bowl there.

Oh, it smells just so yummy. Now I've got some cream here, but you could try custard. We could just add a little bit of cream.

How easy was that recipe? I hope you've enjoyed making it together, and I hope you enjoyed eating it. It really is delicious.

In the previous step, Margaret mentioned fruit crumble, a traditional British dessert. It's a very simple and very popular pudding. Watch Tina make an apple crumble in the video.

History of apple crumble

Apple crumble was probably invented in the 1940s as an alternative to traditional apple pie. Because of the war, it was harder to get the ingredients for pastry (flour and butter), so instead people made a little 'crumble' from fat and flour and just sprinkled it on top of the stewed fruit.


Tina lists six ingredients for her apple crumble

  • apples
  • soft brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • butter
  • flour
  • lemon zest.

Tina says that she uses Granny Smiths and Gala apples. Gala are one of the most popular British apples – but you can find out more at the Great British Apples website.

She mentioned two utensils she uses – the peeler, to peel the apples, and the grater, to grate the zest off the lemons.

You'll find the full apple crumble recipe in the next step.

Over to you

Read the transcript above of what Tina says in the video. Is there anything you don't understand or anything you find interesting? Share it in the comments below.


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Submitted by stefherz on Thu, 09/02/2023 - 01:24


Thanks a lot for the recipe! I'm not a huge fan of crumbles in general (too little pastry for me =D), but I loved watching Tina and listening to her explanation. There were some nice expressions she used that I had never heard before and that I liked a lot: Let's get cracking, it's delish, and piping hot.

To be honest stefherz, I'm not a huge fan of puddings really! 😊 I do like a good cheesecake and I'm partial to some tiramisu (a coffee-flavoured Italian dessert) but if I had a choice I'd probably go for the 'cheese platter' in a restaurant!

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, I had heaps of fun making it and my family enjoyed eating it! Do you like to cook at all?

~ Tina ツ
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by S_Cabrerizo on Fri, 18/11/2022 - 17:02


Thank you,Tina, for the recipe. I usually put a little of mixed spice and nutmeg instead of lemon zest, to the crumble add half a cup of oatmeal cereal, and I put the pudding straight into the oven for 45 min. We serve it with ice cream

ooOOoo that does sound lovely @S_Cabrerizo! The next time I make an apple crumble I'll try your version. Do you have a picture of your crumble? We'd love to see it!
~ Tina ☺
LearnEnglish team 

Submitted by carlaacosta78 on Tue, 15/11/2022 - 10:48


Thank you very much for this recipe. Its really very easy to prepare. There was a new word for me: tart. Does it have the same meaning as sour?

Hi @carlaacosta78, we're glad to hear you enjoyed it! When Tina says 'tart' in this video, yes it is an adjective that means the same thing as 'sour'. Just so you know, 'tart' can also be used as a noun, which is a kind of sweet -- follow the link and you'll see a picture

LearnEnglish team educator