We’ve all been there.
You’re already running late, scrambling at the end of a long day, and the doorbell rings.
Unexpected company? There’s gotta be something you can put out on the table…
Skip the cheese and crackers or the questionably freezer-burnt popsicles, and serve up a delicious baked treat instead. This fruit crumble is really easy and quick to make.
Whenever you’re short on time, but craving something sweet that provides a beautiful presentation, it’s time to give this recipe a try.
The best thing about it? You don’t even need to go shopping.
Made with just four ingredients, and pretty flexible in the fruit department, it’s likely that you already have everything you need on hand.
Get creative, and add your own special twist to the crumble topping. It’s super adaptable to suit your tastes, and it couldn’t be easier to make a different version of this basic dessert each time you present it to your guests.
What are you waiting for? There’s not a minute to waste! Let’s get to the recipe.
|6 servings||10 minutes|
Looking for a quick, simple dessert that's perfect for weeknights or serving last-minute company? You're going to love this fruit crumble. Get the recipe.
- 9 ounces whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose)
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ounces softened butter
- 14 ounces fresh or frozen fruit
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Wash the fruit, and peel, core, or slice as needed. Place into an 8-inch round baking pan, or divide evenly between 4-6 ramekins.
- With your hands, combine the flour, sugar and butter until mixed and crumbly in texture.
- Spread the crumbles over the fruit and bake for about 40 minutes in the middle of the oven, until tender in the middle and crisp on top.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy while still warm!
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Fruit
Wash your fruit of choice. Depending on what you have on hand, you can certainly use just one type. But I recommend combining fresh seasonal fruits.
Apples are an excellent option, delicious in combination with pears. Strawberries and rhubarb also make a delicious combo. And stone fruit is great when it’s in season, particularly peaches and nectarines.
Fresh or frozen berries also work well, combined with cherries if you like. Be sure to get the best cherry pitter, if you’re using fresh cherries!
And a ripe, juicy mango also makes an excellent filling, for something a little different.
Peel carefully with a vegetable peeler, and core or remove pits if necessary. Cut into chunks, and place into an 8-inch-round or 9×13″ rectangular baking pan.
Any size dish can really be used, just adjust the amount of fruit that you need to fill the pan and double the crumble recipe if you need to. If you’d like to prepare individual portions, you can use 4-6 small ramekins to make this recipe instead.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 2 – Make the Crumble Topping
This is a nice and simple recipe that would be an excellent primer for introducing children to cooking.
If you have a helper in the kitchen, they can assist with this step while you’re working on the fruit prep. This recipe is great for beginner-level cooks, and kids who are eager to get involved.
Place the flour, sugar, and softened butter in a large mixing bowl or on a clean work surface like your countertop.
Press and mix together with your fingertips until the butter is evenly distributed, and the mixture takes on a crumbly and sandlike texture.
If you like, add some spices or extra flavorings of your choice. Some of my favorites are a pinch of cinnamon on a rainy afternoon, tablespoon of cocoa powder to satisfy the chocoholics in your life, a handful of roughly chopped nuts for extra crunch, or some citrus zest for a fresh flavor.
Step 3 – Top and Bake
Spread the crumble evenly over the fruit.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until fruit is soft and crumble is crispy and lightly browned on top.
Remove from the oven and enjoy while it’s still warm.
Dessert’s Ready… In a Flash!
Okay, you got me. That 40-minute bake time is a little lengthier than the amount of time you might spend with a neighbor who dropped in for tea.
But keep in mind, the prep for this dish really is super simple, and some fruits may bake up more quickly than others.
It’s also easy to slip your dessert-filled casserole into the oven beside your pan of roasted root vegetables, or in the toaster oven if you have a countertop appliance with baking features.
Even if dessert doesn’t make an appearance every night in your household, it can be nice to have this recipe up your sleeve to serve something simple and homemade when you’re craving a touch of added comfort.
For something extra special, serve up a warm slice or spoonful with a dollop of whipped cream, and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream or chocolate pudding.
Need another quick dessert to make? Try our recipe for no-bake chocolate butter balls.
What kind of fruit will you use in your crumble, and what creative toppings and combos have you whipped up in your kitchen? Share your idea in the comments!
For more fruity desserts with an addictive crumbly topping, try some of our favorites:
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Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally posted March 16, 2015. Revised and updated March 10, 2017 with additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.
19 thoughts on “Last-Minute Dessert: The Easiest (and Tastiest) Fruit Crumble”
There’s probably nothing better than fruit crumble in the summer and a little bit of ice cream to go with it 😛 I know apples and peaches go really well for fruit crumbles, but what about other more “fragile” fruits like berries? And cherries? (Though I would think having to pit cherries without a proper tool would be a pain in the butt!)
Absolutely, berries are great to use, too! 🙂 I tried one with a mix of rapsberries, blackberries and currants in summer. They make a perfect couple with some chopped nuts. You are right about the cherries 😉 One possibility could be to use pitted, drained fruits from a jar. Although they might not beat the taste of fresh ones.
Wow! This is indeed super easy. I’m no child, but I might as well have been since I’m no expert in baking, haha. This is truly something I can do myself. I especially love that there aren’t too many ingredients to think about. Sometimes, it’s a long list of ingredients that discourages me to try baking. With a long list of ingredients, I often equate it with ‘expensive’.
Fruit crumbles are a really popular dessert here in the UK. They are quick and cheap to make and are a fantastic option for those who grow or pick their own fruit. We tend to serve crumbles with hot custard here but vanilla ice cream and double cream work just as well.
Great idea to use whole grain flour and raw cane sugar as it gives it a more rustic and coarse look and it’s healthier. I may use this for other toppings for pies too, I wasn’t sure if it would work as I like to use a crumble instead of pastry sometimes.
You are right, that is really a good idea to use it for. With the various ways to flavor the flour-mix, you can be creative and adjust the dough to your needs 🙂
Who knew baking would be this simple…am all grins and shine!…page has been bookmarked, am definitely treading down this path…the inner baker has awakened from her deep slumber…time to slave away in the kitchen has come 😉 … i have never indulged in fruit crumble before but i can see it coming to life…by jolly aren’t i thrilled 🙂
Super simple recipe. It kind of reminds me of the ‘dump cake’ craze that’s been going on for a year or two. The easiest recipes always end up being the most delicious. Well, as long as the ingredients match quality with as much fervor as the ease.
Oh my, this is a little too sinful for my liking, but I’ll try anything once. I know my wife loves her sweets, but then again, she never gets fat, not even when she was pregnant with my kids. The kids will love this no doubt, so I’ll reserve this recipe for a special occasion like a summer picnic or something.
This has the perfect amount of ingredients for me. I love recipes that don’t require much at all. You can use so little and still make an amazing dish. Awesome.
You are so right, especially when it’s about spontaneous visits from friends or relatives, this is quick and easy to make. Plus, you often have everything you need right at hand. I love this on lazy Sundays when I concentrate on lunch or dinner and need something easy but fancy for dessert or coffee. It’s definitely my basic-all-rounder recipe.
This does sounds extremely easy to make. I like that it’s very basic, and can be customized according to taste. I think I would probably use a combination of fruits, and I’d probably follow your suggestion of adding in some flavorings such as cinnamon, and if I were making an apple crumble, I would also add in some clove and nutmeg, because I love that flavor combination.
Absolutely, you can turn it into almost any fruit-crumble you like. A combination is great and a spicy-apple crumble with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg sounds so delicious that I would love to eat it straight away, the perfect autumn-treat!
Just yesterday, a friend gave my a large bag filled with apples from her garden, I think they are made for this recipe 😉
I have never tried making crumble.
I think it is more like a British recipe, right? But I would like to try it for sure, and this recipe looks nice. And maybe from blueberries or strawberries?
And whipped cream on top of it?
Right, it has some British roots, they have amazing variations. Your idea of making one with these wonderful juicy berries – even with some whipped cream – sounds extremely delicious. I’m sure it will be a winner. 🙂
Well I have to say that I am shocked at myself for not even having heard of a fruit crumble before. It sounds so easy and so delicious, so I am wondering why this has not been in my kitchen my entire life. That said, though, thank you so much for sharing this, and when it comes to delicious things to make with things that you have lying around, this might be the one that I am most excited to try. We always have some fruit on hand, so I can see this being perfect for when they start to go bad. Thank you again for sharing and I will return to let you know how it went.
At least you now know about the presence of this easy-peasy and delicious dessert, that’s important 😉 I love it because one actually always has the ingredients on hand. Like you say, with some fruits lyind around, it is so easy to create this. Sure. you’re welcome to let us know about your experience! Enjoy!
I make this exact recipe at least once a month, using apples. It turns out very similar to an apple cobber. It’s always a huge hit on our house, especially for the holidays, Delicious everytime!
Yummy, apples are definitely one of my favorite fruits for this dish. Have you tried mixing some cinnamon or vanilla into the crumbles? Or some chopped walnuts? During colder months, this makes a wonderful warming dessert! Glad you enjoy it from time to time 🙂