This delicious Biscoff crumble recipe offers a gently spiced apple filling hiding beneath a generous helping of sweet crunchy crumble and packed full of Biscoff spread and Biscoff biscuits throughout.
Biscoff mingles so naturally in an apple crumble. The spicy caramel and cinnamon flavours of Lotus Biscoff spread and Lotus Biscoff biscuits really do compliment the slight tartness of cooking apples perfectly. It is a match just waiting to be discovered and I am pleased to offer a delicious and easy recipe that happily marries these two up!
I wonder how many crumbles I have made over the years. It must be hundreds. There are so many variations, but I believe everyone has their own check list for apple crumble perfection.
Personally, I prefer equal ratios of crumble to apple and a bit of "bite" to the apple. I like the apple to be sweet but not too sweet. A gentle sprinkle of spice is a must. My husband however likes loads (and I mean loads) of crumble and just a bit of apple. And that bit of apple needs to be stewed and really sweet. And he doesn't like any funny ideas goings on with his crumble topping, like mixing in chopped nuts and oats. Oh no.
Anyway I am pleased to say that this Biscoff crumble recipe is a real winner in our household, so I have compromised. I have added more crumble that I would normally and kept the apples sweet but not sickly sweet. There is also a hint of cinnamon and ground cloves which mellow out gently through the apple base.
Ten crushed Lotus Biscoff biscuits are added to the crumble. These really give the crumble not only a caramel Biscoff flavour but a lovely crumbly texture.
Because... while we are on the subject of what is the perfect crumble ....that is something I else I really insist on. It has to be light and crumbly, not compressed and solid. Many recipes insist on you pressing the crumble down. Lovely readers, I advise you not to follow that path. A gentle pat yes, but that's all. A crumble needs to be just that.
A bit of info about this crumble recipe...
Well for a start I invented this recipe on a Sunday whilst consuming a couple of large glasses of gin and tonic. This invariably means my baking takes on a bolder and more adventurous turn.
Sometime this is a good thing. Sometimes a mini disaster occurs. In this instance, yes it was a good thing.
Why did I choose the ingredients I did?
You can't have apple crumble without cinnamon, that is just common sense;
Ground cloves are quite strong so just a quarter of a teaspoon is the smidge that you need. They add just a hint of lovely warmth and depth.
Soft brown sugar is a must, I adore brown sugars and will always use them where I can instead of white sugar. Nutritionally there is nothing in it. But flavour wise those retained molasses are a bonus and I love their nutty flavour. The darker the sugar, the more the molasses. That can only be a good thing. (Have a go at my Sticky toffee and ginger pudding if you want a real dark brown sugar and treacle treat). I use soft brown sugar mixed in with the apples because the flavours work so well. However, in the crumble I mostly use golden caster sugar. This gives the right level of sweetness and ensures the crumble has a lovely golden sandy colour and texture.
Cooking apples (Bramley apples): you can use "normal" apples if you like. If you do I suggest you cut the sugar with the apples down to 2 tablespoon as they are much sweeter than cooking apples. I like the good old Bramley myself. It holds it head high as the best choice when it comes to cooking. It has a higher acid content and lower sugar. As such, when cooked it retains its flavour and structure really well. No mushy appley mess with this guy.
A few things to bear in mind ...
Preheat your baking tray: this ensures that the apples start cooking from the base up as soon as you place the apple crumble into the oven.
Preparing your apples: apples turn brown almost as soon as the air hits them (oxidation). I have something of an OCD about preventing this. Not that it really matters, they taste fine even if a bit browned. To my mind though, they just don't look as pretty. So this is why I prepare the crumble first and apples last. You can prevent most of the the oxidation process by placing the apples in water and lemon juice, which is what we do in this recipe. However, the ones on the top still turn a little brown so not perfect. There's my OCD again.
Grate your cold butter: this works really well when you need to keep your butter cold, such as in pastry. It will mix into your flour in just a few pulses of the food processor.
Crush your Biscoff biscuits: to do this pop the biscuits in to a sandwich bag, seal and smash with a rolling pin. Don't over smash though, it is nice for the crumble texture to have a few large bits of Biscoff smattered throughout.
How to know when your Biscoff apple crumble is baked: insert a skewer right down and into the apple layers. There should be just a bit of resistance.
How to make Biscoff crumble
So, as I always say, prepare your ingredients first. Heat your oven and butter your pie dish (see recipe card).
Add your salt to your flour and sift both into your food processor bowl. Add your grated butter sprinkling it evenly over the top of the flour. Pulse a few times to mix together. Do not over mix or you will have pastry.
Add in your sugars and crushed Biscoff biscuits and pulse just until combined. Your mixture will be sand like in colour and texture. Pop into the fridge to keep chilled until your apples are ready.
To prepare your apples, first pop half the juice of a lemon into a large bowl and add about 2 litres of cold water.
Peel and core one apple at a time. Slice the apple into 1cm slices. Submerge into your lemony water. Once all of your apples are ready, drain them and dry them. I dry them by tipping them onto a clean tea towel and then rubbing them dry with another. Dry the bowl and pop the apples slices back in. Add your Lotus Biscoff spread, cornflour, sugar and spices and give everything a good mix up. I use two large wooden spoons to toss the apples around like a salad to ensure they are all coated.
Once totally coated, place the apple slices, one by one, into your buttered dish. Try to ensure that all of the base of the dish is covered as much as possible. Build up the layers as evenly as you can making sure there to fill in all the gaps as much as possible.
Tip your crumble mixture over the apples and spread out evenly. Give the crumble a gentle pat and then sprinkle over your demerara sugar if using.
Bake for about 40 minutes until golden and your apple has a slight resistance when pierced with a skewer.
Serve with my Proper English vanilla custard or some lovely vanilla icecream.
- 20cm deep pie dish
- Food processor (or you can mix by hand)
- Fine mesh sieve
- 2 wooden spoons
- 2 clean tea towels
- Large bowl
Biscoff crumble topping
- 250 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 150 g unsalted butter cold and grated
- 120 g golden caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- 75 g Biscoff biscuits crushed
Apple and Biscoff filling
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 585 g bramley apples (3 large apples) see notes below
- 100 g Biscoff spread
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 4 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar optional
- Butter your pie dish.
- Heat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/Gas mark 5
- Place a large baking tray in the oven to heat.
- Sift your flour and salt together and add to your food processor bowl.
- Give the flour a whizz just to ensure it is evenly spread within the food processor bowl.
- Add your grated butter and pulse several time until the butter is mixed in and no large lumps remain.
- Add in your remaining ingredients and again pulse just until combined. The mixture should look like sand when ready. Make sure you don't overmix or it will start to clump together.
- Pop in the fridge to chill.
Apple and Biscoff filling
- Add your lemon juice to your bowl and fill up with about 2 litres of cold water.
- Peel and core one apple at a time.
- Slice the apple into 1cm slices and place in the water to stop them from oxidising.
- Once all your apples are prepared, drain them and them pat them dry with your clean tea towels.
- Dry your bowl and return the dried apples to it.
- Pop your Biscoff spread in a microwave just until melted, about 20 seconds is usually enough.
- Add all of your now melted Biscoff spread and remaining ingredients to your apples and give everything a good mix. I use 2 wooden spoons to do this, like tossing a salad.
- Place each piece of apple, piece by piece, flat side down, into your prepared dish. Make sure that you cover all of the base.
- Continue to build up the apple slices until they have all been used. Ensure, as much as possible, that the top of the apple stack is level and that apples fill every gap possible.
- Tip your crumble mix over the apples and spread out to cover them all.
- Press down just a little to compress very slightly.
- Rough the top of the crumble up by dragging fork across it.
- Sprinkle over your demerara sugar if using.
- Place on the preheated baking tray and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- When done, the crumble should be lightly browned and the apple should have just a little resistance when you place a skewer through it.
- Leave to cool and settle for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with my custard recipe or vanilla ice cream.