This strawberry and apple crumble recipe transitions seamlessly from summer into fall, combining juicy berries with crisp apples below a thick, chunky crumb topping. A blend of brown sugar, brown butter, and graham cracker crumbs give this crumble a distinctly rich, sweet flavor - the perfect compliment to the brightly-flavored fruit nestled underneath. This easy crumble recipe takes just 15 minutes to prep, and can optionally be made gluten-free.
Strawberries and apples may not be the most obvious of pairings, but in this fruit crumble they're absolutely magical together. Why, you ask?
It all starts with texture. While strawberries tend to turn soft and juicy after baking, apples retain their shape and crispiness to achieve that perfect balance. Then, there's the flavor. Both fruits are sweet, but not too sweet, with a hint of tartness to keep the flavors alive.
Add an oaty crumble topping - especially one laced with brown butter - and the results are truly phenomenal. Although it may look like a humble dessert, this strawberry apple crumble is anything but.
Why you'll love this crumble recipe
- It's quick and easy. Once you've prepped your ingredients, you can have this in the oven in no more than 15 minutes. You won't need a food processor or any other niche appliances.
- It's a great way to use up fresh fruit. You'll need a pound each of apples and strawberries for this crumble - that's no insignificant amount!
- The flavors are multi-dimensional: a little tart, a little sweet, not too light, not too rich.
- The crumble topping is thick and crispy - as it should be! I firmly believe that the key to a good crumble is filling the topping with all of your favorite things and piling it over the fruit abundantly. For me, that means adding brown butter, brown sugar, crunchy pecans, and graham crackers, mixed in just the right ratio for optimal crispiness and ZERO sogginess.
- The combination of apples and strawberries in this crumble makes it a great dessert for multiple seasons. You have your warm, nutty fall flavors and bright, fruity summer flavors, all in one easy-to-make package that'll have your house smelling like sweet, toasty perfection.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here's a quick look at the ingredients that make up this strawberry apple crumble:
Here are a few details to set you up for baking success:
Apples - I like a crisp, tart-sweet apple for this recipe; Pink Lady is my go-to. If you want to experiment with a slightly more unique variety, Lucyglo (used in my caramel apple cupcakes) or Kanzi (used in my apple cinnamon muffins) apples would also be good options! To achieve that perfect baked texture, I recommend peeling your apples and chopping them into chunks about ⅜" thick.
Strawberries - Much like these strawberry crumb bars, you'll get the best flavor from this crumble by using fresh, in-season strawberries. The more local, the better!
Flour - Use regular all-purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free all-purpose blend.
Lemon juice - This can be substituted with lime juice if you happen to have it on hand. You'll only need a small amount; the acidity helps brighten up the flavors in the fruit filling.
Brown sugar - While light brown sugar will work just fine, I prefer dark brown sugar in this crumble topping. It has a richer, more molasses-y flavor that pairs really well with the brown butter and graham cracker crumbs.
Pecans - I'm a big fan of the pecan's natural maple flavor, but other nuts will work too! Walnuts or hazelnuts would be good substitutes.
Oats - Use old-fashioned, rolled oats only. The whole idea behind quick-cooking oats is that they cook faster, which means they get mushy faster. If you want a crispy crumble topping, stick to the rolled oats. Make sure they're gluten-free if you're trying to make a gluten-free fruit crumble.
Step one - Oven and pan prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF and greasing a 9" square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Strawberry apple filling
Step one - Make the filling: This is as easy as combining all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl, and tossing them together gently to coat the fruit evenly in flour and sugar. Transfer the filling to your baking dish in a nice even layer.
Step one - Brown the butter: Place the cubed butter in a large skillet set somewhere between medium and medium-low heat. Let it melt, whisking occasionally. Once it starts to foam, continue to whisk more frequently, watching closely for golden-brown specks to appear near the surface of the pan. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat immediately.
Step two - Combine the topping ingredients: In a large mixing bowl (save yourself some dishes and just wipe off the one you used for the fruit filling), whisk together all of the remaining topping ingredients. Add the brown butter and stir it in with a spatula until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the fruit filling in the baking dish.
Step three - Bake: Bake the crumble at 350ºF for 40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the filling is bubbling along the edges and the top is golden-brown. Serve this strawberry apple crumble warm from the oven, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a hefty dollop of whipped cream.
Storing and reheating fruit crumble
The easiest way to store leftovers of this recipe is to simply cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator. If you're reheating a large portion, you can pop it back in the oven and bake at 350º for an additional 10-15 minutes. If you're worried about the crumble topping overly browning, keep it tented with foil.
To reheat individual portions, simply warm in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
In my experience, leftovers of this strawberry apple crumble keep well for a full week.
FAQ and recipe tips
The only differentiating factor is that all of my crumbles are made with oats! It's worth mentioning that some people use the two terms interchangeably, and others will tell you that a crisp should have oats. That said, the two desserts are nearly one and the same.
Although I haven't tested, it I do think you could swap the apples in this recipe with chopped rhubarb to make a strawberry rhubarb crumble. Or, try a combination of all three fruits!
If you're planning ahead for dessert, you can make both the filling and topping a couple of hours in advance and keep them both refrigerated (in separate, covered containers) until you're ready to bake.
More recipes that use fresh strawberries
If you find yourself with LOTS of fresh strawberries to use up, I've got more ideas for ya! Each one of these recipes uses about a pound of berries!
Strawberry and Apple Crumble
Juicy summer strawberries and crisp fall apples come together beautifully beneath a crispy oat topping in this warm fruit crumble.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: one 9" square pan 1x
- Category: crisps and crumbles
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
Strawberry Apple Filling
- 16 ounces (4 cups) peeled and chopped apples
- 16 ounces (approx 3 ¼ cups) chopped strawberries
- 4 ⅝ ounces (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 ⅛ ounces (½ cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
- 7 ½ ounces (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 4 ¼ ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces (1 cup) pecans, finely chopped
- 2 ⅞ ounces (1 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ⅛ ounces (5 tablespoons) graham cracker crumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Oven and pan prep: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9" square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Strawberry Apple Filling
- Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together all of the filling ingredients so that the fruit is evenly coated in flour and sugar. Transfer to the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
- Brown the butter: Place the butter in a large skillet set over medium-low to medium heat, whisking occasionally as the butter melts. Once it begins to foam, continue whisking more frequently. Once you begin to see golden-brown specks forming in the pan, remove from heat immediately.
- Combine the topping ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the crumb topping until well-combined. Add the browned butter and stir in with a spatula until all of the dry ingredients are evenly moistened and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over fruit in baking dish.
- Bake crumble in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until top is golden-brown and filling is bubbling around edges. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
I recommend a crisp, tart-sweet apple variety such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Lucyglo, or Kanzi
Dark brown sugar is preferable, but light brown sugar works too
Pecans can be substituted with a different nut such as (chopped) walnuts or hazelnuts
To make this crumble gluten-free, use gluten-free all-purpose flour, gluten-free oats, and gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.
Storing and Reheating
Store leftovers in baking dish covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated and consume within one week.
To reheat the full crumble or a large portion, place the baking dish back in the oven and bake at 350º for an additional 10-15 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil if needed to prevent topping from getting overly browned.
Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
- Both the filling and topping can be prepped a couple of hours in advance and kept refrigerated (in separate, covered containers) until you're ready to bake.