Apple crisps and crumbles are desserts that I enjoy all year round. During the summer, I often serve them chilled or top them with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. During the winter, I try to serve them while they are still hot out of the oven so that I can absorb some of that lovely heat as I eat them. This Oatmeal Pecan Apple Crumble certainly could be served in any season, but I particularly enjoy it in the winter because the combination of apples and cinnamon just says “comfort food” and I appreciate that the most when it is chilly outside.
This topping is inspired by some oatmeal cookies that I made recently. It uses flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla, but includes a generous handful of toasted pecans to add some crunch that contrasts with the rest of the buttery crumble topping. It has a nutty, oaty flavor and pairs very well with the tender apples in the filling. The topping would actually be very good with a variety of fruits, including stone fruits in the summer and berries in the spring and fall.
The filling is a simple one, combining apples with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. If you’re feeling indulgent, add in a small splash of brandy, as well. It compliments the apples very well, though the crumble is also delicious without it. I cut the apples into relatively thin slices and used a mixture of both longer and shorter pieces. This not only allows the apples to fill the pan more evenly, but creates a bit of contrast between slices that are slightly firmer and some that are slightly more tender, which is nice to have.
Serve this hot from the oven or at room temperature, according to your preference. It’s delicious both ways and is sure to be a dessert that you’ll enjoy time and again throughout the year.
Oatmeal Pecan Apple Crumble
2-lbs apples (2-3 large apples)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peel the apples, remove the cores and cut them into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut some of the slices in half horizontally, so that some apple slices are half as long as others, to give the filling some variety and to fill the pan more evenly.
In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt (and brandy, if using) and transfer to an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar and stir to combine. Pour in butter and vanilla and stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans.
Sprinkle the topping mixture over the apple mixture in the pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the topping is dark golden brown.