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.
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.
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.
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, 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.