Apple Crumble with Maple Créme Fraîche

Sunday May 1, 2016

A good cooking apple needs to keep its shape during baking. Its flavor, sour-sweet when raw, mellows delightfully. We like baking with medium- to large-sized Pippin, Granny Smith, and Fuji; Golden Delicious and McIntosh are wonderful if very firm, and Rome Beauties and Gravensteins are delightful early season apples.  You can mix varieties as well in case that is what you have on hand. You can substitute sour cream for the creme fraiche. For a sophisticated taste, toss the apples with 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier or Calvados.


Cooker: Medium Round or Oval or Large Round

Machine Setting and Cook Time: High Heat: 30 minutes, then Low Heat: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1/2 cup nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts or pecans
  • 2-pounds (5 to 6 large) cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 3/4-inch


  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Maple Créme Fraîche

  • 1 1/2 cups créme fraîche
  • 5 tablespoon pure maple syrup


Toast the nuts in a 350º oven for about 5 minutes; cool and chop. Spray the crock with nonstick vegetable cooking spray or grease with butter.

Place the fruit in the crock; sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch and toss to coat the fruit.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.

Place the flour, oats, both sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl or the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Cut in the butter with two knives or your fingers; or pulse to make coarse crumbs.  Add the cooled nuts and toss to combine. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around the edges to prevent burning.

Reduce the heat to LOW and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until fruit is tender. Test by sticking a knife into the center of the crumble. When the blade passes through the apples with little resistance, the crumble is done. Uncover and cool for 10 minutes in the crock before serving.

Make the sauce by placing the créme fraîche in a small bowl.  Whisk in the maple syrup until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until serving with the apple crumble, a divine combination.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2005, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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