Undressed Apple Crumble in a Jar

On Friday night there is to be a birthday dinner for the birthday siblings. In New Zealand.   In the summer. Too far for Mama to catch a cab from the U.S. prairies.  Sadly.  Senior Son has been working  on creating a Mama Meal from The Kitchen’s Garden Pages.  Then it was discovered, with eyes rolling in horror, that I have not posted the Apple Crumble and an emergency call was put through.

So very quickly yesterday afternoon, I gathered the last of the apples, made the crumble,  and wrote  down the recipe. This is harder to do than you think, when you have made the crumble your entire life by just heaving it all together and stirring. Now if you are invited to the dinner on Friday  – close your eyes.

The  Crumble

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 big tablespoon bran
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 oz cold butter
  • zest of half a lemon

Grate the very cold butter into the dry ingredients, (grate and stir, grate and stir, etc) zest the lemon in and mix with your fingers until it is crumbly. It needs to look like chunky breadcrumbs.

Grease your widemouthed jars  (this will work in a baking dish just as well).  Pack with sliced Granny Smith Apples (or any other tart apples) until the jars are about two thirds full.  Do not add sugar to your apples, leave the tart taste alone. Top with about 1/2 inch of the crumble. Sit your jars on a baking sheet in the oven for 45 minutes at 350F..  (about 160C I think.)  Be careful when you take them out of the oven. They are hot and awkward.  Don’t serve too hot. 

I made these as individual servings in wide-mouthed Bell  canning jars (Agee bottling jars in NZ) . The pictures are of UnDressed Only-Just-Cooked Apple Crumble as I did not want to lose the light for a photo.  These can be made ahead of time, (to the above stage)  then warmed on low.  Just before serving, create layers of colour in the jar.  Maybe you could add a thin layer of  whole blueberries or raspberries, then a small ball of icecream and a wee curl of lemon.  Your sister will help with this.  Jab a shiny spoon into the dessert and serve quickly so that the crumble stays crispy.

I hope you can find the pint sized wide mouthed jars! If not you can make these in individual ramekins.

If you have a few desserts left over, screw the lids onto the jars,  pop in the fridge and take them for a pernick-nick  (home talk for picnic) down at the beach on the weekend.  Apple crumble is just as good cold!

Can you see Mary’s Cat lurking in the back of this shot? He is thrilled that I am taking photographs of food outside again!

Today we are forecast to reach 50F. All the baby plants have been watered gently with the hand rose in the shower, and are waiting to go outside as soon as it hits 40F. Hopefully we do not get too much wind. The big doors have been opened in the chook house, as well as the barn, so everyone is feeling springy and the chooks are laying like mad with all that extra light!  Maybe I should make a pavlova and have a birthday celebration too!

Dawn has come. Good morning!



82 Comments on “Undressed Apple Crumble in a Jar

  1. I read the instructions carefully but I’m sorry, but I can’t make this recipe. I don’t have a sister to help with the step of adding color to the jar. Will the recipe work if I do all the steps myself?


    PS I hope you know that this is not a serious question, just a bit of Ronnie-style sarcasm/irony/silly humor.

  2. Yes, I think you should make a Pavlova! The best one I’ve ever tasted was in Hong Kong, believe it or not, at a little restaurant called Lucy’s. It had pink peppercorns in it. Such a wonderful surprise to see those little pink jewels in there. And speaking of apples, I just sorted through mine that are stored in the shed, and they’re holding up brilliantly. A few are a bit soft, so I’ll make applesauce from those today.

    • oo your apples have done well, i long for my little trees to start bearing, another few years yet i think.. c pavlova and peppercorns! wow.. c

  3. I love dessert and breakfast in jars… especially this one, I think I should keep several jars in my fridge for breakfast every day.. yummy, I love it when you cook, c! xoxo

  4. In a jar. I would never have thought to do that. Nice presentation idea.

  5. One of my all time favouritie desserts and I love cold crumble too! Such a shame you won´t be with them in body, but I am sure you will be “in spirit”!

  6. In a jar! Ha ha! I wasn’t sure where you were going with this recipe. At first I thought you were going to seal them all up in your pressure cooker and ship these off to New Zealand for the birthday party, the whole time thinking, “it’ll never get there by Friday!” I love the concept, especially the portability option! Brilliant, as usual Cecilia!

    • The jars we can buy in the US are so good for this, isn’t the internet amazing, i can cook it, photograph it and have it posted in time for them to make it over there for friday! c

  7. Oh no! I don’t have any jars like that! I do hope they taste as good in ramekins as that is the best I can do! 😉
    What a pity there isn’t a cab to take you across the water for the celebrations.
    🙂 Mandy

  8. As soon as I began reading this I became excited to do this for a picnic….and then you mentioned it! Well in your own way, of course….pernick nick 🙂 Isn’t it so great to be able to share our family recipes with our children – photos, directions and all in this way!!

  9. Let’s see if this will work this time. Having DSL probs. Yuck!

    Sorry you can’t be there for the birthday but this apple crumb sounds wonderful, a favorite of mine. Love that you don’t add sugar. Why cook with tart apples if you’re going to add cups of sugar? Your weather is 10 degrees better than ours today. Looks like more of the same for the rest f the week. Spring will get here …

    • Thank goodness you have your tech difficulties worked out.. It is still cloudy here but i can feel the warm coming and i can HEAR the spring birds beginning, no robins yet! c

  10. Yummy. I put ginger in my crumbles, as well as oatmeal. Last time something went wrong and we were breaking teeth on it! Mine are made in a big dish – 3 at a time, with two frozen. My energy level runs out often, so it’s good not to have to cook always. I do this with most dishes, sweet and savoury, or I make a huge batch of sauce eg pepper sauce, and freeze it in small containers.

    • I agree with making bigger batches and freezing, i do that all the time, mainly because i find it almost impossible to cook for TWO! after years and years of cooking for a big family.. Morning viv!

  11. These are wonderful! They look delicious and what a fun way to serve dessert. A great idea for a summer barbecue too. Love this!

  12. Where would we be without the internet? I love the presentation of these crumbles. So bittersweet that you are with and without your kids at once. I’m taking notes…

    • Yup, they all grow up and off they go. Mine are scattered all over the world really! and it is bittersweet, they are healthy, happy and paying their own bills, just not close to me, I have to do one world trip once a year to visit them all!! c

  13. What?! No cinnamon??? Lol
    Apple crumble is wonderful, isn’t it? I used to make it a lot – and have it cold for breakfast – because everyone knows – if you have it hot, there has to be ice-cream… and you can’t have ice-cream for breakfast!…
    I’ve got stewed apples in the freezer, and I was wondering what to do with them. Rick is going to LOVE you tonight.
    Happy birthdays to your family.

    • Morning Janet, (laughter) yes I do not add cinnamon, too many tastes. I love apples. It is so easy to make .. have fun.. c

  14. This is brilliant, Celi! I have so many apples and I’ve been making a simple crumble, but I think the presentation on this dish is just the best! I can’t wait to gather the jars and get to it. I will gladly embrace more good suggestions from your abundantly creative kitchen! Debra

  15. We call this “apple crisp” where I am from, skip the bran and the lemon, and add nutmeg and cinnamon, but this time of year it would have to be pear crisp or crisp from frozen peaches or berries. I often make crisp with mixes or whatever is in season: peaches and blackberries, nectarines and plums, varying the spices used with the fruit. Sometimes I use some whole wheat pastry flour in the topping.

    • lovely, and yes i am looking forward to summer again, peach crumble is my other favourite! I find nutmeg and cinnamon together too overpowering, it is like onions and garlic in the same place, but like my sense of smell i have a heightened sense of taste so i love simple tastes, i am dying to try that berry crumble idea of yours, that sounds divine.. I think I even have some frozen ones! c

      • Ah well, I cook things with onions and garlic together all the time, plus half a dozen Indian spices or some carefully chosen herbs. Someday I might try your simple version for the variety, but you know how family recipes are…

        • Oh i do know, and we all get used to our own cooking!! I do use spices and herbs, but usually only a few and before you pointed it out i had not really thought about it too much.. great conversation, this is one of the great things about blogging.. c

  16. Celi, this is dreamy. So dreamy. It’s making my mouth water. I love that your kids are making Mama’s dishes at home in NZ. That’s sweet and I hope my kids will do that same sometime when they are grown. I am so happy you shared this family fave as well.

  17. Mmmmm. I have to share this one, C. My daughter just did a project about “5 things made from apples” and she and I were both appalled that she had never tried apple crumble. She could make this herself (she’ll ADORE the little mason jars) and then put on her wee oven mitts to serve it to everybody. So awesome!

    • what a grand idea, tell her i said make sure it cools off a bit before serving as apple is high in sugars and gets really HOT!! She will have a great time and probably go on to invent even wilder and more fun desserts in jars! c

  18. The idea of making a crumble in a jar and taking it on a picnic is brilliant! I’m gonna do it. We may just be able to have a picnic here tomorrow…up to the high 70’s…crazy! I’m loving the sound of the nice texture of your crumble and it melting into the plain tart apples as they cook…would be awesome with some creme fraiche, I’ll bet. 🙂

  19. Aw! It’s like you will be there in the form of this sweet dessert. I love the idea of making it in jars and then piling on berries and maybe some drippy sweet ice cream! So practical yet so charming.

  20. I love it that the only sugar is in the crumble part. I think I could eat this undressed… That would be the dessert, of course. 😉 ~ L

  21. I am just going to say “I love it all” — your recipe, the way you wrote, the pictures (glad I am not the only one trying not to miss the real light outside). Lovely.

  22. I just had a dessert in a jar while traveling. I have a lot of mason jars so I must try your apple crumble.

  23. I just remember the first time I have had apple crumble was in Germany, It was made by a english girl I used to live with, fabulous…..

  24. Oh, that looks really good, I love crumbles! I make mine with extra crumb because that’s my favorite part. I love that you put them in jars, I’m definitely going to do that! 🙂

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