I could have given this dish a variety of different names. This delicious chameleon is a combination of cake, crumble, and pie. It’s dense like cake, with an apple pie filling, and crumble topping. So, Apple Cinnamon Crumble Cake is what I came up with. The name fits, right?
The base layer is flaky and light, making it perfect for soaking up the delicious juices from the apples and cinnamon in the middle. The top layer is buttery and sugary, and makes a wonderful crunchy topping. The entire construction process for this dish is a bit labor intensive. It’s got three separate layers! However, I promise you it is well worth the effort.
Whip up this delicious dessert, and you’re sure to wow your guests this holiday season. Feel free to call it whatever you like, but my guests will know it as Apple Cinnamon Crumble Cake.
Ingredients for the crumble:
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (for greasing pan)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
- 6 gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices (use your apple of choice, but keep in mind gala apples are small apples, so if you use a large apple reduce the amount)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
Prepare an 9-inch springform pan. Make sure the base of the pan is securely locked into place. Grease the pan with 1 tbsp of melted butter. Set on a baking sheet, and reserve. (Note: Whenever I use a springform pan, I place it on a baking sheet before it goes in the oven to ensure no leakage.)
Next, make the first layer of the crumble. Combine flour, white sugar, and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is well incorporated. (The mixture will have small pieces of butter running through it resembling course sand.) Sprinkle 3/4 of this flour mixture over the bottom of the prepared springform pan. No need to press the mixture into the base of the pan, just make sure the layer is evenly distributed. With your hands, push some of the mixture up the sides of the pan. Do not press hard, just fluff (for lack of a better term) it up the sides. Dust the apple slices with 1 tsp of cinnamon and scatter them in an even layer over the flour mixture. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the top of the apples. Again, do not press down. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep the next layer of the crumble. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt (wet ingredients). When the base layer is done baking, remove it from the oven and carefully pour the wet mixture over the top. Return to the oven, and cook for another 20 minutes. (Note: After 20 minutes, the egg mixture will not be fully cooked and will still have a little “jiggle” to it. This will ensure the next layer of crumble topping won’t sink into the cake.)
Meanwhile, prepare the next layer of the crumble, the topping (my favorite part). Melt butter in a small sauce pan, or in your microwave. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Add melted butter and stir until just incorporated. The mixture will come together in large clumps. When the second layer of crumble is done baking, remove it from the oven and evenly sprinkle it with the crumble topping. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes.
Remove crumble from the oven and test to make sure it is done. (Test doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the crumble. You will know it is done if the toothpick comes out with just crumbs on it and no moisture.) If there is moisture on the toothpick, return crumble to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. The total cooking time is 60-65 minutes, all three steps included.
Allow crumble to cool for 15 minutes in the springform pan and on a cooling rack. Release the outer ring of the springform pan and run a knife around the outside. Carefully lift the outer ring and remove. Allow crumble to cool another 10 minutes before removing the base of the springform pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve warm, and with vanilla ice cream if you wish. Best served right away, but will hold in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Servings: 10 (Serving size: 1 large slice)
Recipe adapted from Apple Crumble