Apple crumble tart, but amplified! This apple crumble tart shines with the addition of desiccated coconut and one unexpected ingredient. Shall we call it a 'secret ingredient'?
Drum roll...condensed milk! The condensed milk makes it exceptionally creamy, rich, caramel-esque and oh-so moreish. It also makes this apple crumble tart recipe unique.
I borrowed the recipe from my mom, who has made this showstopper for every occasion for as long as I can remember. It often replaced birthday cake! She would always diligently make two crumble tarts - one for the guests and an extra one for us afterwards, just in case the first got completely devoured, which was usually the case!
Enjoy with a tall glass of iced coffee! For more delicious desserts, also try this easy marshmallow fridge tart, peppermint crisp tart or this fool-proof dreamy white chocolate and ginger cheesecake. If you like crumble, also try these jam crumble bars.
What's to love about this recipe
- It puts a creative twist on the classic apple crumble tart with the additions of coconut and condensed milk adding a unique flair and richness.
- Perfect to make in advance because it freezes brilliantly.
- Even though the tart has a few different elements, it's an easy recipe with no special skills or equipment required.
- It's a fantastic way to use up the abundance of apples available during autumn. See the above point about freezing.
- Makes a great dessert that can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings, like cream, custard and ice cream.
- Tastes equally nice cold, at room temperature or warm.
Key ingredient notes and substitutions
**Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients.
We use salted butter. If you only have unsalted butter, add 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt to the crumble topping, or leave the salt out entirely.
For a buttery crumble, please stick to real butter and not Stork or margarine.
Just plain white sugar is used for the crumble, cooking the apples and the cinnamon sprinkle.
This is the finely grated and dried flesh from a coconut, found in most baking aisles. It will be clearly marked as 'desiccated coconut' on the packet, not to be mistaken for 'coconut flakes'.
This recipe uses ground cinnamon which is integral to the overall flavour. Add another teaspoon of cinnamon if you prefer more spice.
You will need one can, or 397g, which is usually the standard weight, give or take a few grams. Don't worry too much about a few grams under or over.
Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to the apples while cooking.
Which type of apples to use
All culinary snobbery aside, almost any apples will do! We have used Royal Gala apples, Pink Lady apples as well as random 'unidentified' eating apples from various trees. They all taste different with varying textures, but they all work in their own way.
We would suggest that for very tart apples like Granny Smiths, add a little extra sugar when cooking.
Don't have fresh apples to hand, or want to cut down on preparation? You can use 750g of tinned apples instead. Cook them in the saucepan exactly as you would for fresh apples, together with the butter, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, but no longer than 5 minutes. Tinned apples are already 'softer' than fresh apples, so you don't want them to cook into a mush.
- Large baking dish or tart pan. You need a size of roughly 25cm x 30cm/10'' x 12''/4 quart. It should have a depth of at least 5cm/2 inches.
- Large saucepan with lid.
- Large bowl.
- Apple peeler and corer, or whichever tools you would normally use for peeling and coring apples. Just a simple knife will do.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer.
How to make this apple tart
Using your fingers, rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients (plain flour, salt, sugar and coconut) until you have a crumbly consistency. Loosely press half the crumble into the base of a greased baking dish. This will form the tart crust.
Place the other half of the crumble in the fridge.
Over medium-low heat, cook the apple slices with the butter, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon for about 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples have softened a little. Keep the lid on during cooking, but give it a stir every 2 minutes.
Remove the lid during the last few minutes to allow the liquid to evaporate. Keep stirring to prevent sticking. Don't overcook the apples, you want them slightly softened but not mushy or falling apart.
To make the sauce, separate the egg yolk from the whites. In a bowl, hand-whisk the two egg yolks together with the condensed milk and lemon juice.
In a separate, clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold it into the condensed milk mixture, keeping as much air in the mix as possible.
For the sprinkle, mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside, ready for assembly.
To assemble the tart, tip the cooked apples into the baking dish. Pour the sauce over the apples and then sprinkle over the cinnamon-sugar. Using your fingers, crumble the remaining dough (the chilled dough from the fridge) over the top of the tart.
Bake in a preheated oven of 190C/374F/gas mark 5 for 35 minutes. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on it for the last few minutes. You want the crumbed topping to be light golden brown in colour with slightly browner edges.
Let the tart rest for at least 30 minutes. As the tart cools, the sauce firms up and holds the apple filling together, making it easy to portion into slices.
Optional toppings and serving suggestions
- You can serve it cold, at room temperature or warm.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped or clotted cream.
- Makes the perfect dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Sprinkle the top with coconut flakes for extra flair.
- Serve with custard.
This apple crumble tart will keep optimally fresh for 2-3 full days when properly stored in the fridge. Be sure to keep it covered tightly with plastic wrap, aluminum foil or store it in an airtight container.
The tart also freezes beautifully when fully assembled, for up to 3 months in the freezer. To defrost, remove the tart from the freezer the day before and simply leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw. If you'd like, you can briefly warm the tart in the oven before serving.
To reheat the apple crumble tart, bake loosely tented with foil for 15-20 minutes at 190°C/Gas Mark 5 until warmed through.
Yes, you can, just use a smaller baking dish. Ensure the dish you are using is smaller in size, but not smaller in height (circa 5cm/2'' in height).
You can serve it for either! If serving for a dessert and you want it to 'look' more like a dessert, warm the tart through and serve in bowls instead of plates. Add some ice cream.
As a rule, no, but it depends on your oven. If you find that the crumble topping is browning too fast for your liking, loosely place a sheet of parchment paper or foil over the top.
Essentially a Dutch apple pie is the same as an apple crumble tart as both are made with a crumble topping. Apple pie, on the other hand, is topped with a flaky pastry.
More easy recipes using condensed milk
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Apple crumble tart
For the crumble
- 240 gram plain flour
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 40 gram granulated sugar
- 160 gram desiccated coconut
- 250 gram butter - cold, cubed
For the apples
- 30 gram butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 900 gram peeled and cored apples - this is the weight *after* they have been peeled and cored.
For the sauce
- 2 large eggs - whites and yolks separated
- 1 can condensed milk - 397g
- 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
Cinnamon sugar sprinkle
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C/374F/gas mark 5.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a circa 25cm x 30cm/10'' x 12'' baking dish. It should have a depth of at least 5cm/2 inches.
For the crumble
- Mix the flour, salt, sugar and desiccated coconut together in a bowl.
- Add the cubes of butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry mix until you have a crumbly consistency.
- Divide the crumb mixture in two and lightly press one half into the bottom of the baking dish. Place the second half in the fridge.
For the apples
- Slice the 900g peeled and cored apples into slices of about 2.5cm/1 inch thickness.
- In a lidded saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat and add the lemon juice, granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Stir through.
- Tip the sliced apples into the saucepan and mix through to ensure they are coated in the liquid. Cover fully with the lid, still keeping the heat medium-low.
- Leave the apples to cook for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes to prevent sticking and burning. Place the lid back on after each stir.
- After 8 minutes, remove the lid fully and slowly stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. This should take roughly another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
For the sauce
- Combine the two egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon juice and whisk together by hand using a wire whisk or fork.
- In a clean, grease free bowl, whisk the two egg whites until stiff peaks form. You can use a stand, or electric hand mixer for this part.
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the condensed milk mixture until just combined, keeping as much air in the mix as possible.
Cinnamon sugar sprinkle
- In a small bowl, mix together the two tablespoons granulated sugar and one and a half teaspoons cinnamon.
- Tip the cooked apples into the baking dish and spread evenly.
- Pour the sauce over the apples. You can use a fork to move the apples around to allow the liquid to fill any gaps.
- Evenly dust the cinnamon and sugar sprinkle over the top.
- Remove the second half of the crumble from the fridge. Using your fingers, break the crumble mix into small pieces and spread across the top of the tart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the crumbed topping is light golden in colour with slightly darker edges.
- Leave the tart to rest for 30 minutes before serving. Serve plain or topped with ice cream or cream.
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.