How to make a crispy fruit crumble


I don't know about you, but I think all this talk about baking being a-precise-science-and-all-that is scaring a lot of people away from baking.  I mean, I'm sure baking a ten-layer wedding cake or five hundred tarts may well be precise science.  But baking just a pie or a few cookies, that's hardly more so than making a simple bowl of soup.  

So, if you're one of those people, I have just a recipe for you to try.  Or even if you're not, try it anyway, it's so simple and so good, you'll thank me for it later.  (Hold it with the proposals though boys, I am otherwise occupied.)

This is going to be the easiest dessert you’ll ever make.  Really it will.  It’s basically comprised of two parts, an unusually crisp crumble topping, which comes together in minutes, and a fruit filling, which can be just about any fruit in abundance at the moment.  At my market, stone fruits are just about done.  So I'm sending them off with the last hurrah with the French prune plums – quetsches as they're called over there. 


The crumble topping is quite a bit crispier than your usual crumble,
and also quite a bit crumblier than your average crisp.  I'm calling it
a "crispy crumble".  It came together because I always thought fruit
crisps never had enough of the crispy bits to keep me happy.  I'm all
about carb, you see. A pizza, for me, is all about the dough, sushi all
about the rice, and pie all about the crust.  So I wanted a heftier
crisp topping, but I also wanted to keep the crisp and not just turn it
into a regular crumbly crumble.  Hence born this recipe. 

It actually came together pretty quickly.  Starting with my usual
crumble recipe, I added oats and nuts and a little more butter just to damn
bless myself properly.  You can use rolled oats, spelt flakes, or just
about any uncooked cereal flakes or blend you have on hand.  The same
goes with the nuts – sliced almonds as I did here, chopped pecans should do well, or walnuts, or just about anything, really.  A little bit of spice, a little bit of flour, and a little bit lot of melted butter and you're in business. 

As for the fruits, you can use whatever stone fruits still hanging about in your market, or when Fall fruits arrive you can do a quince-apple-prune one like I did last year (but use this crispy crumble topping instead.)


For the crispy crumble
(This makes enough to top baking dishes like this, and this. It's easy to scale it up or down to fit your appetite.)

1 1/2 sticks butter (170g)
1 cup all purpose flour 
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup rolled oats, spelt flakes, or whatever blend of uncooked cereal flakes you have on hand
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of clove
1/4 tsp salt

In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  In a large bowl, dump the rest of the crispy crumble ingredients and stir to mix.  Pour the melted butter over everything and stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are moistened and form clumps.  Cover with plastic and let rest in the fridge while you prepare the fruits. 

For the fruit filling
Enough fruit to fit your baking dish.  In the large Le Creuset dishes I linked to above you'll probably need about 4-5 pounds of fruit.  Cut up the fruits to big chunks, juice one lemon over them, toss with a little sugar (a little more if the fruit is sour) and a table spoon or two of flour (depending on how wet you think it might be).  That's about it. 

Put the fruit chunks in the baking dish, crumble the topping evenly over them. Place the baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch the drip or you might need to clean the oven afterwards.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F (175C) for about 50 minutes.  (If you're doing it in a smaller dish you might want to check at 30 minutes or so.)  You should see some of the fruit juices bubbling over and the topping should be golden brown, that's when you're done.  Oh, yes, and your house should smell heavenly too.  That's how you know.

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  • cristen

    hooray for plums!

  • Jamie

    That looks fantastic. However, I can’t do gluten or dairy. That shouldn’t be too big a deal, as I can just replace the butter with a nice buttery olive oil and the flour with almond meal or rice flour or some such combination. But I currently can’t have any added sweetener due to my candida diet that continues to drag on. What to do? I’m ok without the extra sweetness, but I need something to help create the sauce around the fruit (maple syrup, honey, agave and stevia are out as well). Any ideas?

  • The Gardener’s Eden

    I think you are right about the exact-as-rocket-science intimidation Pim. I enjoy cooking, but have always been scared away from baking due to fears about collapsing cakes and loose-tart fillings. Lately I have been getting a bit more daring, but this is exactly where I started: crumbles, crisps and buckles. I also just love them in the autumn, when the rock fruit is plentiful and the warm spices seem particularly welcoming on a cool day. I love that you make things accessible by showcasing something simple, yet delicious like this. What a wonderful thing to do. On behalf of other newbies, I thank you from the bottom of my dish! :)

  • meleyna

    Oh carbs, how fatastically magical you are. I add pasta to my Caprese, potatoes to my pizza, and my “that time of the month” craving is pasta, not chocolate. And here you go, adding that soft, ripe fruit… AND nuts. Thank goodness bathing suit season is over. (Like that would really stop me anyway…)

  • Susan

    I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you. Baking does “scare” me at times. Is there a way to easily print recipes from your blog, without printing the whole blog page with advertisements? Love your site.

  • Costa Rica Luxury

    Love to bake, and will certainly have to give this dish a recipe a try, thanks for sharing!

  • Peter

    I love carbs as much as the next guy, but if the fish isn’t the star of the show in your sushi, that’s just weird…

  • Pim

    Hardly. Sushi *is* first and foremost about the rice. The fish and other things are practically condiments. Ask a properly trained sushi chef how long it took before his master let him make the rice.

  • Dana McCauley

    I have been on a crumble kick this summmer. Here in Toronto where I live we had the best peach and blueberry seasons we’ve had in years and I must have made a peach-blueberry crumble a week.
    Now I’m excited that it’s apple crumble time….the joy of harvest!
    I posted a very similar way of making crumble in the summer and I agree, it’s the easiest most forgiving baked dessert you’ll ever make:

  • Ozhan Ozturk

    Hi Pim,
    The crumble seems very yummy, I wish it did not include that much butter… But I guess every good thing has a price :)
    Greetings from the Kitchen of Oz

  • Jessyca

    wow~ these food is seducing me to fail my diet plan~even it’s just a photo! Your blog is nice^ ^
    I hope i learn to cook…start with frying an egg first! (Hope you dont look down on me ok? Kitchen is never my territory)

  • Emma

    Hello, as I’m French, how much is on stick and a half of butter ???? We don’t measure butter by stickd :-) )

  • annie

    This looks great, and I agree that baking is not advanced algebra most of the time. I plan to mix the butter and dry ingredients for the topping with my fingers, just because I feel like it…..

  • UK Foodie

    That crumble looks fantastic, my favourite is rhubarb and to add some Cadburys chocolate buttons in the topping, which makes it even more scrummy!

  • Irina@PastryPal

    Even with baked goods, I find if you’re off by a tablespoon or two of measure, it doesn’t make a big enough difference that would ruin a recipe. There is more leeway in baking than is acceptable to say. All those little old ladies in the old country who baked cakes and breads just went by eye, and even my Russian-born mother still bakes lots of things by instinct. Anyway, sometimes the simplest desserts are the absolute best, and we all love a crumble. I, too, like more topping. There should be some in every bite :)

  • D. at Outside Oslo

    That’s beautiful, and looks delicious for this early autumn! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    This look delicious!

  • KyotoFoodieのPekoPeko

    Hello Chez Pim,
    Oh, I love a fruit crumble! I am sitting here in Kyoto, Japan now, all inspired to just bake one up. Getting all the ingredients and access to a proper oven is a bit of a challenge though, so I think that I will just ‘eat’ your photos for now.
    I agree, baking (and cooking) shouldn’t be approached as just a precise science. You have to cook with your heart and soul!

  • Tina

    Hi Emma, I had to look this up too. I heard that in the US most households don’t use kitchen scales, but in Australia we use them a lot. One stick is 113g so for one and a half sticks it is 170g or 2/3 cup.

  • Pim

    1.5 sticks is about 170g of butter. Sorry, I’m usually good about posting weight measurement but I forgot this time.

  • Pim

    Oh, yes, thanks!

  • TeresaHH

    I have been making essentially this recipe for years with great success. Only minor differences, like, I don’t exactly measure, and I use less flour and butter for topping. Mixing the dry topping ingredients with softened butter by hand lets you really feel when it is the right consistency- crumbly but with clumps. My favorite combo – although a little late in the season this year – is berries. A mix of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, in roughly equal amounts, with walnuts as the nut in topping is wonderful.

  • Alta

    Yum, I love your crumbly crispy crumble topping. I just found myself some gluten-free oats and this is calling to me! Yum!

  • riya

    Khun Pim,
    That looks absolutely scrumptious..

  • Kamran Siddiqi

    Pim, you are purely awesome! Crumbles are my favorite thinks to make! I agree with you on what people think about baking. It’s not something to be scared about.
    Anyway, awesome post and great photos as always! :)

  • Chez Us – Denise

    I have been dreaming about baking some fall desserts with the early arrival of some apples & pears at the market. As well a certain someone keeps dropping hints about how he loves crumbles. I like the additional of “extra crispy” in this recipe and will be adding it to our test kitchen for next month! Beautiful photos as well!!

  • veggiebelly

    that looks incredible delicious! I usually make the topping without oats, i’ll have to try it this way next time!

  • Andy

    Hi Pim, I enjoy all your posts and regularly use the no-kneed bread. For your most recent post on the crispy crumble i would like to find out what weight the stick of butter is. A stick of butter in Australia is 250g; i dont think this is the weight you are suggesting
    Thanks in advance

  • Buntcooky

    This looks really delicious. It reminds me about christmas. ;-) I will try it. Thanks!

  • lo

    Oh, gosh — this looks awesome. I definitely think that a fruit crumble is one of the best ways to eat seasonal fruit! And I’m ALL ABOUT the oatmeal in the crumble topping.

  • Maris Callahan

    Hi Pim! This looks delicious but I stopped by to say that it was nice meeting you and chatting at the post BlogHer cocktail party.
    This post is reminding me that I haven’t done enough with plum lately – I feel like I jumped from strawberries right to squash this year!

  • mandy

    mmm looks great. any pot recipes? lol. have a laugh at

  • becky grant

    Oh it looks so delicious. Not to mention stupid simple to make lol. Can we do this in a crockpot and leave it over night?

  • Melinda

    I love crumbles!!! Apple season is upon us, and I can’t wait….

  • buysoma-jasmine

    My aunt, sister of my mother, together with my cousins are leaving for the states (for good) this october 12. I’m planning to give them something special. I want to cook for them. I think this will be a good recipe for breakfast on the day before their flight. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy Sherman

    Have you tried using a bit of white sugar in addition to brown? It actually lends the dish more crunch.

  • Jessie

    wow this looks amazing! I love a delicious fruit crumble I so would eat this for breakfast too

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    อย่างพี่บ้างจัง (พิมพ์ eng ไม่ได้ไม่เก่งเลย) ขอโทษนะคะ

  • Monique

    I know this question will probably sound really stupid but… what are “stone fruits”?

  • Becky Grant

    I love plums. They must be soooo sweet and juicy when this recipe is done. I wonder if we can make this in a crocker the night before and wake up in the morning to delicious breakfast?

  • kellypea

    You’re so right about crumbles, crisps, and buckles. I love them all. But when it comes to other types of baking, freedom is fleeting. I take advantage of the homey things to experiment. Your plum crumble sounds fabulous!

  • cassie duncan

    Plums really are a great fruit. Im trying this out straight away! I don’t know why but it’s never occured to me to do a crumble with plums!

  • Sarah

    Yummm. I used this recipe for an apple crisp last night with some freshly picked Cortland apples and it was simply perfect. It inspired the consumption of a second helping from my usually ultra health conscious boyfriend and a “That is among the top three apple crisps I have ever had!” from his mother. It was so incredibly simple to make, too. I left out the clove because, well, I didn’t want to pay $8 for a tiny little jar :) Thanks for a fabulous recipe that I’ll be using for years to come!

  • baby crib

    Got it! This looks fantastic and so yummy that I can’t wait for weekend to come so that I can try it!

  • HIFU

    Excellent recipe. my wife can testify to this as I whipped it up for her a few days back.

  • Passport Foodie

    Just picked up the book.
    It’s very well done.
    I love the photos and the construction.

  • Jessica

    I can SOOO identify with the fear of baking but I totally agree with you. A souffle or custom pastry are worthy of apprehension but crumbles such as this are dang near idiot-proof. Love the idea of using halved plums instead of chopping. I made one with plums and peaches a while back and it was DIVINE!
    Thanks for the post. Gorgeous pics make it all the more yummy!

  • Cindye

    Yummy, this is going in my recipe book. I live in Costa Rica and I think I am going to try it with Mango’s for now since they are in season for just a short time more. Thanks for the BUTTERY delight.
    I make a great peach cobbler and I only use 1 STICK of butter in the bottom of the pan prior to putting in the peaches….and it’s FANTASTIC. Can’t go wrong with butter!
    Cindye Loves Sushi

  • Joel

    Pim – I have to admit my own addiction to crusts and crumble toppings as well…I actually have a really hard time with the part of the pie making process that involves filling the crust with things. It just seems like an awful lot of time and trouble to get to crust eating part. Alas, pies must be filled with scrumptious, sugary things.
    This crumble looks fantastic, by the way. Just the sort of carb-overload-induced-coma I need at the onset of cool weather. Thanks!

  • The Wicked (awesome) Whisk

    I love fruit crisp… especially with extra crumble. I will be making this tomorrow with apples and pears.
    I love your blog. Your blog is part of my blog’s blogroll :)


    I agree with you Cristen, the plum should be celebrated, and peaches and apples and all the great autumn fruit now available! Pim, you have made my weekend much more difficult. Should I write a new post at or do I settle down to a fresh fruit crumble? This recipe sounds absolutely amazing. Maybe I am not looking closely enough but I would love to subscribe to your blog by email!

  • Barbara

    This looks super! Made Ina’s plum crumble last week and the only complaint I had was it was too sweet. Yours looks much better. Love crumbles, pan dowdies, crisps- you name it. (Also agree with Joel about crusts. I like a little filling with my crust.)

  • Bordeaux

    Lovely crumble. It also makes for a deliciously decadent breakfast if enjoyed with a little plain yogurt and a pot of fresh coffee!

  • Julia (Taste of Living)

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I like crumbles, but most of the times I find them not crispy enough. I think this is my solution!
    Just found your book here in Europe and I have to say that I love it! Congratulations:)

  • house plans

    Great! Another recipe for me to know and learn. I love reading blogs like this because it gives recipes like this one here on this post.

  • Skin Care

    Nice recipe.. I’m getting continues knowledge since I joined this blog. Wonderful platform to increase knowledge… Cheers

  • Tim

    A friend told me about your site and I’m so glad she did. I made this little sucker, with plums and apricots to go with a sweet sticky merlot that I had – an unusual wine. Difficult to match to food, but this did the trick nicely. Thanks for the tips.

  • M.L.

    DELISH! I used a mixture of apples and pears (sliced thinly). I couldn’t stop eating it. I made it again tonight with crushed walnuts instead of almonds and it was great as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  • The Runaway Spoon

    I love to make a big batch of crumble topping, and keep it in small portions in the freezer. Then I can whip up a crumble for one (or more) whenever I find good fruit at the market.

  • Julia

    People should bake more!! It’s not too science-y unless you want it to be. Lots of easy good things to make, and plenty of vegan options out there, too. And yes, all hail the unsung hero of the stone fruits, the plum. Great post!

  • Hayley Cox

    mmmmmm yummilicious – can’t wait to give this a try :)

  • micook

    You are so right about baking. I hope you helped some people to begin baking, it is so much fun!
    Pim, I’ll be happy if you’ll take a look on my new website, I hope you’ll like it:

  • Pim

    That works too. Slightly cold butter, just warmer than straight off the fridge but slightly colder than room temp, will work best I think.

  • Pim

    Almost everything is better with a little chocolate, I agree.

  • Pim

    Totally agree with you.

  • Pim

    I think this recipe is forgiving enough even for not-so-good ovens. You should try it.

  • Pim

    Yours sound good too.

  • Pim

    Yes, and I’ve seen Gluten Free All-purpose flour that should work here too.

  • Pim

    Thank you ka.

  • Pim


  • Pim

    Drop a link here when you try it on your blog!

  • Pim

    พิมพ์ภาษาไทยไม่ค่อยเป็นค่ะ คืนครูไปหมดแล้ว

  • Pim

    Glad it turned out great for you. Omitting the clove was totally fine. I agree they can be pricey especially if you don’t use them often enough.

  • Pim


  • Pim

    Thanks so much!

  • Pim

    Oh that looks delicious.

  • Pim

    No you can’t!

  • Pim

    I hear you. I love pie crust so much sometimes I bake them in small pieces like cookies and eat them just like that!

  • Pim

    Thanks. How did it turn out?

  • Pim

    Thank you!

  • Pim

    You’re welcome. A sweet and sticky Merlot? That sounds intriguing and odd in about equal measures. Where did it come from?

  • Pim

    Pretty much any nuts would work here. I’ve tried it with some pecans and they turned out great too.

  • Pim


  • Marie Zenaida

    I am all about the carb too. And the crunch.
    I also like cobbler. I made one a while ago with blueberries and peaches. A friend brought french vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm…

  • Heidi

    I once made a large apple pie for my host family in those smallish convection type ovens they have in Japan without too much trouble – I think a fruit crumble would turn out even better! :)


    I should have commented awhile back, but this is my new-found favorite recipe! I used it all summer with peaches, plums, and figs, and am now using it with apples, pears, and more figs. Seriously the easiest, best, go-to desert recipe! And with homemade vanilla bean ice cream it’s over the top, but no one ever complains. Thanks for your great recipes!

  • Aparna

    I’m a carbs person myself. And love crsp and crunch too. Your crisp looks gorgeous but I guess reducing the butter would cahnge that! :)

  • Melonie Sharno

    Pim, I’m in love! And, not just with this recipe. I’m still in the trial & error phase of setting up my blog but yours is definitely an inspiration. As thank you, I’d love to offer you a twist on your recipe to try. About a year ago, I discovered fruity balsamic glaze from a company called Blaze. It was awesome on strawberries. But that day, all I had where some under-ripe plums. So I baked them…with the fruity glaze drizzed on top for about 30 minutes in 350 degree oven…and had them with ice cream & crumbled amoretti cookies. Yum. It’s become my Go To recipe for parties with rave reviews. I serve them with ice cream in cocktail glasses and switch up toppings between graham crackers, cookies and biscotti. I’ve also done it for brunch, substituting Greek-style yogurt for the ice cream. Much to my chagrin, there’s never a leftover in sight!

  • Tara Bethune-Leamen

    my favourite!

  • Lebertranöl

    Thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe. Every New Year , I try something new in my kitchen. I wanted to try something new for this time too to treat my family and friends with. This will be a real treat!

  • tiffanyfree

    I think that these mushrooms would be a great addition to my mushroom collection.

  • Wholesale NFL Jerseys

    Mangosteen is my favorite childhood fruit. Can’t find any fresh ones when I moved to US. Can’t wait to let my toddler taste the Pear Mangosteen cottage cheese.

  • Business Succession Planning Melbourne

    My bf made something similar with this the other day…but not with plum with other fruit also use a lit bit yogurt

  • web designer

    You just actually reminded me how much I loved plums, can’t wait for summer to eat them everyday. As for fruit crumble I have never tried to make it myself, now it’s time.

  • bitkisel tedavi

    I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you. Baking does “scare” me at times.
    Is there a way to easily print recipes from your blog, without printing the whole blog page with advertisements? Love your site.


    I loved this topping but tweaked it a bit:
    I followed above but used 1/2 C whole wheat and 1/2 C white flour and I was out of almonds so used chopped pecans– the best thing was that I used it on a recipe for Zucchini cobbler!! 8 C up chopped, peeled zucchini, add 2/3 C lemon juice and cook on Med heat til tender, add 1C sugar (or 1/2 C Splenda)and 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon and cook for one more minute- remove from heat. Place in greased baking dish and add topping and cook 35-40 min– AWESOME

  • Marie

    had given up trying to do crumble in a “skinny” way and finally decided to embrace the sugar and butter as my indulgent “treat”. used your recipe and did not regret my decision! yummy! The rest of my dinner guests were equally as impressed. Thankyou.

  • Seedling

    I had a bag full of mixed frozen fruit (peaches, pineapples, strawberries, grapes, honeydew) that was getting terribly freezer burned, so I wanted to just use them up.  Decided to try out your recipe, which worked like a charm!  I didn’t have almonds on hand, but I will try them next time.  Frozen fruit also lets out a surprising amount of “juices”, so I would add more flour to them next time, but otherwise this worked perfectly!  Thanks!