Easy Irish Blackberry and Apple Crumble, with juicy fruit under a buttery, crumble topping, is delicious any time of year. Inspired by a visit to Dingle, Ireland, a Delectable Destination.
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After a day exploring Dingle and the winding Slea Head Drive, we stopped for snacks at a cafe by the sea, including a simple and delicious Blackberry and Apple Crumble.
The recipe is first, then find stories of this leg of our time in Dingle, Ireland right after the recipe.
- Apple Blackberry Crumble
- What is a crumble?
- What's the difference between a crumble, cobbler, and crisp?
- Why you'll love this recipe
- 🔪 How to make the best Blackberry and Apple Crumble
- Ingredients for the crumble:
- What else can I add to this crumble?
- To make individual cobblers
- 📖 Recipe
- Travels In Ireland: Starting in Castlemaine
- Off to Dingle
- Slea Head Drive, beehive huts, and a lamb
- Caifé na Trá
- 💬 Comments
Apple Blackberry Crumble
Inspired by the delicious dessert from Caifé na Trá on the Slea Head Drive in Dingle, I created a homemade Blackberry and Apple Crumble, with juicy blackberries and tart McIntosh apples.
When you visit the orchards, don't forget to buy a bag of apple cider donuts!
What is a crumble?
Crumbles are baked fruit desserts; the fruit can be one type or a blend of fruits like this one. The fruit may be tossed with sugar and spices, then topped with a flour and sugar streusel topping. Once baked, the fruit is stewed and softened, with a deep flavor. The cobbler topping is browned and toasty.
What's the difference between a crumble, cobbler, and crisp?
Because all these desserts have a fruit base and browned topping, they often get confused! The topping is where the difference lies.
Farmer's Almanac shares that cobblers have a topping that's biscuit-like and puffed, and may be dropped over the top in spoonfuls.
Crisps have a streusel topping that includes oats, as well as sugar, and sometimes chopped nuts. The topping has more texture than cobblers or crumbles.
Why you'll love this recipe
Berry and apple crumble is one of those simple, fruit desserts that's so homey and delicious: sliced fresh apples and plump blackberries under a golden, crumble topping.
You'll love how easy this dessert is too. Just peel and slice the fruit, mix up a quick crumble topping, and layer everything in a baking dish. It's ready in a jiffy to set out for brunch or as a dessert.
Fruit-filled crumbles are wonderful anytime, but do make a batch when you have fresh blackberries off the vine or a bag of fresh apples in the fall.
🔪 How to make the best Blackberry and Apple Crumble
Ingredients for the crumble:
- Apples: Use cooking apples for softer-textured fruit after baking, or firm varieties for apple pieces that hold their shape
- Blackberries: Very large berries should be sliced in half
- Butter: Unsalted butter
- All-Purpose Flour: My go-to brand is King Arthur Flour
- Sugar: To give the crumble some sweetness
- Lemon Juice: Gives a nice bit of tartness
- Ground cloves: Just a hint goes so well with the fruit
- Whipped cream: Optional, but delicious
Step 1: Slice the apples
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks. Add them to a small baking dish along with the sugar and spices.
Step 2: Add the blackberries
Add the blackberries to the pan.
Step 3: Make the crumble and bake
Blend flour, sugar, and butter together to make the crumble, and sprinkle it over the top. Bake the dish for about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Give it a rest, then dig in!
Let the crumble rest for a short time, then serve. It's delicious with whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream.
What else can I add to this crumble?
Try mixing some chopped nuts into the crumble topping, like walnuts or hazelnuts. You can also replace some of the flour with ground almonds to add that nutty flavor without changing the texture.
To make individual cobblers
Make single-serving, mini apple blackberry cobblers by dividing the fruit between several 4-6 ramekins. Spoon the cobbler topping over each one. Bake the ramekins on a sheet pan (to catch drips) for about 20 minutes.
Here's another mini dessert to try: Individual Raspberry Cobblers.
I use McIntosh apples for their tart flavor and because they get nice and soft after baking. Other varieties that will work well include Honeycrisp, Jazz, Cortland, and even Granny Smith if you don't mind the extra tartness.
I peel the apples for this crumble so that the texture of the fruit is soft throughout. You can leave the peels on if you want, but it will give the baked fruit more texture and chewiness.
Yes, you can bake this crumble and store it in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat the crumble, cover it with foil and place it in a 350°F oven for 10-20 minutes until it's heated through.
The topping is tender to begin with, but may get a little softer when the pan is covered and stored in the fridge. When you reheat the crumble, take the foil off for the last several minutes to help the crumble get toasty.
I don't recommend freezing this dish, because it will negatively affect the texture of the fruit and the topping.
The recipe for old-fashioned Blackberry Apple Crumble is below, followed by the story and photos from our travels.
Here are more Ireland-inspired recipes:
💬 Have you tried this Crumble? Leave a comment for me below.
Irish Blackberry and Apple Crumble
- Nonstick spray
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 medium-sized McIntosh apples or another sweet-tart variety (about 2½ pounds)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 ounces blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, unsalted, cold
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
- Whipped Cream (optional, to top the crumble)
Prepare the filling:
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Have an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan ready and spray the bottom and sides with nonstick spray.
- Pour the lemon juice into a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1-inch chunks. (If you're using an apple slicer like I did, cut each wedge into 3 pieces.) Place the apple chunks in the bowl and after each addition toss them in the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the bowl, along with the ground cloves and the pinch of salt and toss the apples to coat them in the sugar and spices.
- Slice the blackberries in half (if they are large - if they're tiny you can skip this.) Add the sliced blackberries to the apples and mix them in.
Make the crumble:
- Use 1 or 2 teaspoons of the butter to grease the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
- Slice the remaining butter into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the 6 tablespoons of sugar and the flour to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the flour and to combine everything together - it is ready when the mixture looks shaggy and most of the loose flour is gathered up by the butter.
Assemble and bake:
- Pour the apples and blackberries into the prepared pan, and spread them into an even layer. Sprinkle the flour-butter-sugar mixture evenly over the top of the fruit.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake it for 30-35 minutes. The apples should be soft and the crumble topping lightly browned in places.
- Remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. You can eat it hot from the oven if you really, really can't wait - but you may burn your tongue! Allowing it to rest will also give the juices a little time to set so that the servings are less runny.
- Serve portions of the Irish Apple-Blackberry Crumble topped with fresh whipped cream. Leftover crumble can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Makes about 6 servings.
- McIntosh apples are my favorite for baking, but you can also experiment with your preferred varieties. McIntosh apples have great texture and, I think the perfect tartness. If you decide to go with a sweeter variety, adjust the sugar to suit your taste.
Travels In Ireland: Starting in Castlemaine
After driving all evening from Dublin we arrived late at night at our next B&B: Murphy's Farmhouse in Castlemaine (Caisleán na Mainge). Even in the dark, I could see that it was a really charming place.
The next morning I had my first big Irish breakfast, complete with sausages, fried eggs, black and white pudding, and rashers of bacon. Not to mention toast, brown bread, juice, scones, and a few hot cups of café Americano.
I don't normally have a breakfast that huge, but it was glorious!
In the light of morning I could really take in the beauty of Murphy's: vines climbing the peachy-pink house, bright pots of flowers, and rolling fields around the house.
Not to mention the charm inside as well!
Off to Dingle
That day we headed to Dingle (Daingean Uí Chúis) to explore the peninsula. The streets of the town are narrow, winding, and filled with shops and cafés.
As we walked around we saw the grounds of St. Mary's Church, which included this nun's graveyard. Shaded by an enormous twisted tree, the white crosses gleamed in the shadows.
One of the stops my sister was eager to make was at John Weldon's Celtic Jewellry Shop.
All three of us have pieces by John Weldon that mom bought back from her first trip to Ireland, and my sister had others as well that she bought for herself.
She brought one of these with her: a ring that was badly bent. John Weldon was in the store that day and repaired it for her on the spot. His jewelry is gorgeous and unique, and we all picked up a few extra pieces!
Our wandering took us down towards Dingle Harbour, and there we stopped in at Murphy's Pub and B&B for some lunch. (How fitting, after staying the night at Murphy's Farmhouse!) It was pretty busy but we were able to sit at the bar, and that was perfect!
My sister and I tried some brews from Smithwick's, a Kilkenny-based brewery. Mom had hot tea. She learned early in the trip that good iced tea is a rare drink in Ireland! Murphy's website touts, "The red one, the blonde one, and the pale one." Beer, that is! My sister tried the pale one and I had the red.
They were smooth and perfect to sip on while chatting with our waitress, and taking in the stream of people coming in and out of the pub.
We had a hearty lunch of Beef and Guinness stew served with a side of mashed potatoes. It was just perfect amidst the bustling, friendly atmosphere of Murphy's. A filling lunch on a cool and cloudy day. So filling that we had to leave our bowls unfinished, which felt just plain criminal!
(Speaking of Guinness, have you tried Guinness Pot Roast With Colcannon?)
Slea Head Drive, beehive huts, and a lamb
Mary, the owner at Murphy's Farmhouse, suggested that we check out the Slea Head drive while in Dingle, so after lunch and a walk along the pier, we headed that way.
Slea Head Drive is a loop around the coast that begins and ends in Dingle.
The twisting road slopes down to the ocean on one side with land and rock rising sharply on the other. It is a beautiful drive, and there are plenty of pull-off spots to grab some photos!
One spot on the drive that caught our attention was to see the "beehive huts", ancient stone dwellings known as clocháns. Signs along the drive advertised "Iron Age Stone Huts". There was also a sign that read, "Hold a Baby Lamb" — I have to admit that this was the sign that made us pull over!
The stone huts and walls around them were very intriguing: simple in appearance yet meticulously constructed. The awe I felt in Dublin looking at the Book of Kells I felt again here, of how something this fragile could have seen so many generations of humans come and go and still be standing.
At this spot on the hillside, the rocky fields around the huts had a stark quality that was ominous, almost unnerving, and amplified by the thick fog hanging low all around.
On a clear day the view here must extend for miles, but that day the fog pressed in close all around us.
The only color in the landscape was the dark green of the grass. Everything else, the stone huts, low walls, the sky above us, and the ocean below was gray.
This gray backdrop made the landscape so stunning in contrast. Where the fog had thinned away, we saw vast green fields threaded with dark stone walls, and houses studding the hills here and there.
It was all gorgeous.
And then we got to hold the lamb! This lamb... sweet, soft, and only 3 days old. It was the sweetest, coziest critter in the world!
And the farmer's little puppy was pretty cute too!
Caifé na Trá
We didn't drive the whole length of the Slea Head loop but we did make it far enough to stop in at the Caifé na Trá, tucked into the side of a cliff with the ocean pounding below. I have never seen a café with a view like this!
We took some of their treats with us in the car: hot tea and Americanos, brown bread and butter for mom, and a gooey-rich brownie for me that also happened to be gluten-free! But my sister's treat was the best: a homemade apple blackberry crumble. The fruits together were a perfect sweet-tart combination.
As we waited for our food I noticed this wall of clouds rolling in. Seeing the storms come in from here must be exhilarating, and at times frightening!
Somewhere out in that fog is Skellig Michael, a steep, rocky island dotted with stone huts like those we had seen while holding the lamb. Skellig Michael was the location used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where Luke has been living in exile, and where he agrees to train Rey.
We noticed in Dingle that the souvenir shops happily played up this Star Wars connection, and we found some fun, unofficial Star Wars/Dingle-themed t-shirts (picture puffins in Stormtrooper helmets) to bring home. It also explains this sign for the Beehive Huts written in Star Wars font.
It had been difficult not to have more time to explore at all of our stops, as they were all so unique with so much to see. And the same was true in Dingle — we could have continued exploring for days. But at least that day we had had more time than in previous stops since we were headed back to Murphy's Farmhouse to stay a second night!
Amanda M Roberts
I made this recipe last night, tucked in our home, waiting for Hurricane Teddy to pass in Nova Scotia. I found the recipe was no-nonsense, with simple ingredients and easy to follow. I had looked online at others before selecting this one. Instructions were great, and photographs a delight. Our apple-blackberry crumble was delicious, and came out looking just like the pics you posted. Served with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. We have leftovers I may serve with custard today! Thank you! We loved it.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this recipe! I'm about to make a pan of it for my family too, it's such a perfect fall treat. Serving it with custard sounds like a great idea. Thank you for letting me know how it turned out for you. I do hope that the hurricane passed you without incident, and that you are all safe!
I think this is my favorite post yet, from the beautiful B&B and scenery in Dingle to the adorable baby lamb. Also, this recipe looks delicious and I pinned it!
Thank you, thank you! You are the best! <3
Thank you so much!