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Apple Tart Crumble

If you’re a fan of apple pie, then this apple tart crumble recipe is for you! The easy-to-make tart will become an instant favorite with its soft pastry-like crust and sweet apple filling.

For more apple desserts, try keto apple crisp or sip on an apple crisp macchiato that tastes like a caramel apple in a cup!

A slice of apple crumble tart.

What You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Apple tart crumble is a perfect dessert for fall. Sweet and tart apples complement the warm brown sugar and cinnamon flavor of the pastry crust and crumb. 
  • Make this easy dessert recipe just because, or feature it on your holiday table.

What’s an Apple Crumble Tart?

An apple tart crumble is the perfect hybrid dessert, combining elements of a classic fruit tart and the ever-popular apple crumble. It starts with a sweet pastry tart, filled to the brim with softened apples cooked down with sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of lemon juice to make an apple pie-inspired fruit filling topped with brown sugar and cinnamon crumble.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Tart Crust: All-purpose flour, powdered sugar (or white sugar), salt, COLD butter, eggs, and vanilla extract create a perfect buttery pastry crust. 
  • Apples: I enjoy piling the sliced apples in groups because I love the presentation, especially with the homemade crumble framing the apples. However, if you don’t want to take the time to group the apples, pile them high into the tart crust, and they will shrink while cooking.
  • Apple Filling: Create a delicious filling using fresh apples, bright lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
  • Apple Crumble: Make sweet apple crumble using brown sugar, ground cinnamon, all-purpose flour, and melted butter.
  • Preserves or Jam: This step is optional, try brushing the apples with melted preserves or jam for a beautiful, glossy finish.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Combine the apples with other fruits with a similar texture, like pears.
  • Include freshly minced ginger or ground nutmeg to flavor the apple mixture.

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

You will need an 11-inch, fluted tart pan with a removable bottom to make this apple tart recipe; the removable bottom isn’t necessary, but it is encouraged to keep the crust intact while serving. You can also use a pie pan if that’s what you have, but it won’t have the signature tart shape.

How to Make Apple Tart Crumble

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

For the Pastry Crust:

Step 1: Process the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. 

Flour mixture in a food processor.

Step 2: Add the COLD butter and pulse until the flour mixture becomes crumbly, about 10-15 pulses.

Cold butter added to the flour mixture in a food processor.

Step 3: Then, add the egg and vanilla extract and pulse until the dough starts clumping together, about 10-15 seconds. 

Crumbly flour mixture.

Step 4: Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball. Flatten the ball with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Flour mixture rolled out of a mat.

Step 5: Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin into an 11” tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing until the dough is smooth.

The tart crust pressed into a tart tin.

Step 6: With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pan.

For the Apple Tart:

Step 7: Toss the apple slices in a large bowl with lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.

Apples in a mixing bowl with toppings.

Step 8: Arrange the apple slices in groups and set them into the crust.

Apples added to the tart crust.

Step 9: Then, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the crumb topping around the outside of the tart.

The ingredients for the crumble in a mixing bowl.

Step 10: Bake until crust is golden and apples are tender, for about 1 hour. 

Apple tart crumble baking in the oven.

Step 11: Brush with melted preserves and let it cool slightly before serving.

Apple tart crumbled in a tin.

Expert Tips

  • Use COLD butter cut into small pieces and work it into the flour mixture to create a crumbly texture.
  • When processing the dough, it should be crumbly with large clumps. If you press the dough between your thumbs, it should stick without being crumbly.
  • Flatten the dough into a disc to chill faster and reduce waiting time. Since the pastry dough is more delicate, it should chill before rolling. And keeping the pastry dough chilled will also prevent the dough from shrinking as it bakes.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin to help you load it into the tart tin without the crust falling apart. Another option is to roll the pastry dough onto parchment paper and slide it carefully into the tin.
  • Toss the apples in lemon juice to prevent browning and slice them into ⅛ -inch slices to ensure they cook evenly and at the same rate as the crust and the crumble.
  • If you notice liquid escaping from the bottom of the tart pan, place the pan onto a baking sheet so the liquids don’t seep out of the bottom and into the oven.

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Apple tart crumbled in a tin.

Serving Suggestions

I enjoy the streusel topping on the apple tart crumble, but here are some topping ideas to take the dessert to the next level.

  • Caramel Sauce: A drizzle of caramel or butterscotch sauce pairs perfectly with the warmth of the apple filling.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: Serve each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Cream: Top the tart with a small scoop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or Greek yogurt. 
  • Lemon Zest: Brighten the tart with a shaving of fresh lemon zest.
  • Maple Glaze: Combine maple syrup with powdered sugar to make a glaze. Drizzle the sauce over the top.

What to Do With the Leftovers

  • Storage – Store the tart at room temperature for two days, or wrap it in parchment paper and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Freeze – Let the tart cool completely, then wrap it with parchment paper and store it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Apple tart crumble freezes for one month. A note on the dough: If you don’t plan on using it immediately for a tart, you can refrigerate it for up to three days or freeze it for up to a month. Frozen dough is less prone to shrinking while baking.
  • Thaw – Defrost the tart in the refrigerator overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best apples for an apple tart?

I have experimented with different types of apples for this recipe, so feel free to use what you have. I am partial to sweet apples like Honeycrisp, Gala, and Pink Lady Apples. I also love pairing granny smith apples with a sweeter apple for a more complex flavor.

What is the difference between apple tart and apple crumble?

The main difference between an apple tart and an apple crumble is that an apple tart has a pastry crust bottom made in a tart pan and baked with the apple filling. Apple crumbles skip the tart shell and tops the apple slices with a sweet streusel crumble topping in a crispy layer over the fruit. We combine the best of both worlds to make apple tart crumble.

Do I need to prebake the crust?

You can partially blind-bake the crust if you want to, but it’s not required. The apple filling takes a while to become tender, so in my experience, the baking time is long enough to cook the filling and the crust.

Should you peel the apples beforehand?

Whether or not to peel the apples beforehand is a matter of preference. If you don’t like the texture, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. However, I don’t mind the taste or texture of the apples, so I leave them on. I also love how the apples look with the skin on in the final presentation.

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A slice of apple crumble tart.

Apple Tart Crumble

Tressa Jamil
This easy-to-make apple tart crumble will be an instant favorite with its soft pastry-like crust and sweet apple filling.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Setting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Slices
Calories 485 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the Pastry Crust:
For the Apple Filling:
  • 5 apples peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/8 inch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons preserves or jam, melted
For the Crumb Topping:
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • cup butter, melted
Instructions
 

For the Pastry Crust:

  • Process the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. 
  • Add the COLD butter and pulse until the flour mixture becomes crumbly, about 10-15 pulses. Then, add the egg and vanilla extract and pulse until the dough starts clumping together, about 10-15 seconds. 
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball. Flatten the ball with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin into a 11” tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing until the dough is smooth.
  • With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pan.

For the Apple Tart:

  • Toss the apple slices in a large bowl with lemon juice, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
  • Arrange the apple slices in groups and set them into the crust.
  • Then, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle the crumb topping around the outside of the tart.
  • Bake until crust is golden and apples are tender, for about 1 hour. 
  • Brush with melted preserves and let it cool slightly before serving.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Use COLD butter cut into small pieces and work it into the flour mixture to create a crumbly texture.
  • When processing the dough, it should be crumbly with large clumps. If you press the dough between your thumbs, it should stick without being crumbly.
  • Flatten the dough into a disc to chill faster and reduce waiting time. Since the pastry dough is more delicate, it should chill before rolling. And keeping the pastry dough chilled will also prevent the dough from shrinking as it bakes.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin to help you load it into the tart tin without the crust falling apart. Another option is to roll the pastry dough onto parchment paper and slide it carefully into the tin.
  • Toss the apples in lemon juice to prevent browning and slice them into -inch slices to ensure they cook evenly and at the same rate as the crust and the crumble.
    If you notice liquid escaping from the bottom of the tart pan, place the pan onto a baking sheet so the liquids don’t seep out of the bottom and into the oven.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Slice | Calories: 485 kcal | Carbohydrates: 74 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 20 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 74 mg | Sodium: 243 mg | Potassium: 209 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 44 g | Vitamin A: 687 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 46 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating