Yes, you absolutely can make apple crumble (or any other type of crumble with apple in it) with normal apples rather than cooking apples.
There are many recipes to make apple crumble with ‘normal’ apples available online and in recipe books. You can also tweak recipes that call for cooking apples, so you can use up any old ‘eating’ apples you have in the house.
I have even found recipes that use a mix of both cooking apples and normal apples in the same crumble or pie.
How to Make Apple Crumble with Normal Apples
When making an apple crumble (or other dish) with normal apples rather than cooking apples, you will likely need to reduce or cut out the sugar that you would usually add when you boil the fruits.
Sugar is added to counteract the bitterness of cooking apples, so you won’t as much of it when working with sweeter dessert apples.
Working with normal apples instead of cooking apples in a crumble or other dish can alter the taste slightly, in much the same way that different varieties of cooking apple can alter the taste.
You can always spice up the flavour of yours with cinnamon and nutmeg, and some kitchen fanatics have even recommended added oatmeal or nuts to the crumble topping for added crunch and flavour.
What’s the Difference Between ‘Normal’ and ‘Cooking’ Apples?
There are believed to be more than 7,500 different varieties of apple found across the globe, but they are separated into two main groups: normal/eating apples, and cooking apples.
Normal apples are also known as regular and eating apples, or dessert apples—the ones you grab from the fruit bowl and eat, without preparation or cooking. These include varieties such as Granny Smith, Gala, Red Delicious, Pink Lady and Braeburn, amongst many others.
Cooking apples are often thought to be too tart and bitter to eat without cooking or preparation, hence the name. These include varieties such as Jonathon, Gravenstein, and the infamous Bramley apple, which is often used to make a traditional apple crumble.
Sometime, apple varieties can be both normal apples and cooking apples. Granny Smith apples are a great example of this; they taste sweet and juicy when eaten raw, and they taste just as delicious when they have been baked or cooked.
In fact, Granny Smith apples are just as much a firm favourite in traditional apple crumbles and pies as Bramley apples, offering a juicy and sweet tartness.
Kim is a writer with more than a decade of experience, and a food enthusiast. When she’s not spending her time writing about her favourite dishes, you can find her in the cake aisle of her local supermarket, or making a mess in the kitchen.