This caramel apple crumble tart is the best of both worlds for me. I love apple pies, crumbles, cinnamon, pecan nuts, tarts and of course, caramel. So why not combine the whole lot together and make the perfect dessert?
Whereas a proper crumble is more of a pudding, with its fruit on the bottom, an apple and caramel crumble pie is much more elegant for serving if you are entertaining. It slices beautifully, so that you can see the layers before you drizzle over some extra yummy caramel sauce.
Of course, you can go completely over the top with a dollop of cream too!
This is the sort of dessert that I love in the Autumn and Winter, when there is an abundance of apples. There's something really comforting and nostalgic about the combination of apples with cinnamon and nutmeg that never goes out of fashion because it tastes so good!
I do love the crunch of a crumble, but it often looks untidy when you serve it, so I've made a caramel apple crumble tart. This means that you get the best of both worlds and can serve this dessert on a plate or in a bowl, hot or cold too.
- Granny Smith apples - these apples are quite tart which balances the flavour of the salted caramel. They also hold their shape well when baked and are easy to find all year round.
- Plain flour - the same as all purpose flour. The cheapest is fine for this pastry and crumble topping.
- Butter - salted butter is fine but not the variety with salt crystals.
- Pecan nuts - optional but delicious. Pieces are cheaper than whole ones as they will be chopped.
- Cornflour or cornstarch - this helps to absorb and thicken the excess juices from the apples.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg - because they love apples! The nutmeg is best freshly grated and I also love to add it to a white sauce.
- Salted caramel sauce - bought or home made salted caramel sauce.
- Lemon juice - fresh, or from a bottle is fine, as it is just to stop the discolouration of the apples.
- Soft brown sugar - adds a nutty rich flavour to the crumble topping.
- Rolled oats -these add extra crunch and texture to the crumble.
- Ground almonds - replaces some of the normal amount of flour in the crumble for extra nuttiness.
See recipe card for quantities.
- 23cm or 9 inch loose bottom tin
- food processor preferable
- rolling pin or just use a glass bottle
Although dessert pastry often has sugar in it, I've kept the tart shell simple because I am adding sugar and caramel to the filling.
I prefer to use a food processor because I can start by getting the nuts chopped, then make the pastry and then the crumble topping. You can use your fingers, a pastry cutter or just a fork.
Pulse together the butter and flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add a little cold water until it comes together in a ball.
Shape the dough into a round and press flat. This makes it easier to roll out later. Place the dough in a bag or wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
💭 TOP TIP
- It's really important to chill the dough as the actof mixing with the flour heats the butter and makes it difficult to roll out. By chilling the dough there is also less shrinkage when it cooks.
Roll out the pastry to line a loose bottomed 23cm tin.
Peel the apples, quarter them and remove the core. Cut into about 1 cm cubes. By cutting them smaller they will still keep their shape but the tart will be easier to cut.
Toss the apple pieces in lemon juice as you peel then stir in the remaining filling ingredients.
Put the apple mixture to one side and make the crumble.
Pulse together butter and flour and then stir in the pecans, oats, ground almonds, cinnamon and sugar.
Spread the apple filling over the pastry case then add generous dollops of salted caramel sauce.
Next add the crumble topping. Lightly press the crumble down and place the tin on a baking sheet.
⏲️ BAKING TIME
Bake at 200C/400F/180FAN/ Gas5 for about 45 minutes until golden.
Leave in the tin for at least 10 minutes before turning out.
🥗 SERVE WITH
You can eat the apple and caramel crumble hot from the oven, warm or cold.
- Custard - a favourite of my husband!
- Cream - whipped, single or a dollop of extra thick double cream or, for total decadence, clotted cream.
- Ice cream - a rich, creamy vanilla would be perfect
- Crème fraîche - this is a type or soured cream from France, with a higher fat content that is really versatile in cooking as it doesn't tend to split when it's heated. It''s a perfect substitute for cream and has a long fridge life.
- Caramel sauce - well, I can never get enough!
- Nuts and oats - if you prefer not to use them or don't have them to hand then use the same quantity of flour.
- Butter - you can use baking spread or margerine but the taste won't be as good.
- Granny Smiths - other varieties that work well are Jonathan, Jonagold, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or just cooking apples
- Apples - try using pears instead.
- Pecans - walnuts or hazelnuts would also work.
This dessert should be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
I have also frozen the tart in portions for up to 6 months.
Desserts to try
Caramel Apple Crumble Tart
- 23cm/9 inch loose bottomed tin
- Rolling Pin
- food processor for ease
For the tart shell
- 200 g plain flour
- 100 g butter cut into cubes
For the filling
- 6 granny smith apples in 1 cm cubes
- 60 g chopped pecans
- 150 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 tablespoon salted caramel sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the crumble top
- 100 g plain flour
- 100 g butter cut into cubes
- 100 g soft brown sugar
- 30 g rolled oats
- 20 g ground almonds
- 30 g chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- For the pastry shell rub together the butter and flour until combined then add enough water until the pastry comes together.
- Roll out the pastry to line a 23/24 cm loose bottom flan tin and chill for 30 minutes.
- Make the crumble by rubbing the butter and flour together and then stir in the remaining crumble ingredients.
- Put the lemon juice in a large bowl and prepare the apples, adding them to the lemon juice when they are cut.
- Stir the remaining filling ingredients into the apples.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C and place the flan tin on a baking sheet.
- Add the filling and carefully pile on the crumble top. Gently pat down evenly.
- Bake for 45 minutes until browned. Leave to cool in the tin for at least ten minutes.
- Serve hot or cold.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove