HomeRecipesApple Crumble Pie by Karla Marro

Apple Crumble Pie by Karla Marro

I love this apple tart because it has all the flavors of a traditional Dutch apple pie, but with a more refined presentation.  

Yield: 30-35 servings

Egg Wash

  • 200 g egg yolks
  • 50 g heavy cream

1. Whisk together egg yolks and heavy cream. Set aside.


  • 300 g unsalted butter
  • 190 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 60 g almond flour
  • 2 g vanilla powder
  • 116 g eggs
  • 500 g all-purpose flour, sifted

1. Cream the butter with the confectioners’ sugar, salt, almond flour and vanilla powder. Reduce the speed and slowly add the eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.

2. Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough to 2 mm and let it freeze for 20 minutes. Cut 3.94ʺ (10-cm) strips and 2.5ʺ (6.5-cm) circles from the dough.

3. Assemble the tart shells: Lay the strips onto the sides of 3ʺ (7.6-cm) ring molds, then press the rounds into the bottom of the molds. Freeze for 30 minutes. 

4. Use plastic wrap and rice to blind-bake the tart shells for 7 ½ minutes at 330°F (165°C), then remove the plastic and rice and bake for other 2 minutes.  

5. Egg-wash the shell and bake again for 7 minutes, until it is light brown.

Cinnamon Crumble

  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 125 g almond flour
  • 3 g ground cinnamon

1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until it has a crumbly texture. Spread onto a silicone baking mat.

2. Divide the crumble into two parts – one part will be used for decorating and needs to be baked for 12 minutes at 330°F (165°C) until light brown. The rest is for filling the tart shells.

Apple Purée

  • 1500 g apples, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 450 g granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped

1. Combine all ingredients and cook until apples are soft. Remove vanilla bean pods and blend mixture in the Vitamix.

Apple Insert for Tart

  • 500 g small cubes of Granny Smith apple
  • 125 g granulated sugar
  • 750 g Apple Purée

1. Cook the small apple cubes with the sugar until al dente (crunchy center and soft edges). Fold in the Apple Purée. Put in a small demi-sphere mold and freeze until firm.

Tart Assembly

1. Put the insert inside the crust. Fill the tart shell ¾ of the way with the purée, then top the remainder with the crumble, making it level. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

Green Apple Insert

  • 325 g small apple cubes
  • 98 g granulated sugar
  • 600 g Apple Purée

1. Cook the apple cubes with the sugar until al dente (crunchy center and soft edges). Chill.

2. Fold the apples into the Apple Purée. Put in a small demi-sphere mold and freeze until firm.

Vanilla Mousse

  • 235 g milk
  • 150 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 170 g egg yolks
  • 20 g gelatin
  • 1500 g whipped cream
  • 6 vanilla beans, split and scraped

1. In a saucepan, combine the milk with half the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring just to dissolve the sugar.

2. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, then temper it with the hot milk and cook to 180°F (82°C). Add the gelatin, stirring to dissolve. Let the mixture cool to 99°F (37°C), then add the whipped cream.

3. Put in a pastry bag and pipe into an apple mold (cavity size 2.4ʺ x 2.4ʺ x 2.4ʺ/6 x 6 x 6 cm) until half full, then add the apple insert. Freeze.

Green Apple Shell

  • 500 g cocoa butter
  • 500 g white chocolate
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 g green food coloring
  • 0.7 g yellow food coloring

1. Melt the cocoa butter with the white chocolate and emulsify. Add the vanilla bean seeds and the food colorings and mix well.

Kappa Glaze

  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 7.5 kappa gum     
  • 500 g water
  • 50 g glucose      

1. Mix the sugar and kappa gum together and set aside.

2. Put the water and glucose in a pot and heat to 77-86°F (25-30°C). Whisk in the kappa mixture.

Bring to a boil, then transfer to a container and cover with plastic wrap, letting the wrap touch the surface of the glaze. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

Apple Stem

  • 100 g Valrhona Jivara milk chocolate 40%

1. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe container and heat in 10-second increments, stirring each time, until it reaches a plasticine texture. Transfer to a marble surface and form the stems. Let cool.

Final Assembly

  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Unmold the vanilla mousse apple and cut the base to look like half of an apple. Dip the apple in the Green Apple Shell at 104°F (40°C) and freeze.   

2. Heat the Kappa Glaze to 113-122°F (45-50°C) and dip the apple in it.

3. Put the apple on top of the tart and garnish with the baked crumble. Very carefully dust with confectioners’ sugar, then add the apple stem.

(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

About Karla S Marro

Karla S. Marro, Executive Pastry Chef at Miller & Lux in San Francisco, found her love for sweets in her grandparents’ bakery. Guided by Chef Tyler Florence, she creates complex and elegant desserts, drawing inspiration from her surroundings and experimenting with seasonal flavors like lime and elderflower in mango-based treats. Her meticulous organization adds to the pride she takes in her culinary creations.

Pastry Arts Magazine is the new resource for pastry & baking professionals designed to inspire, educate and connect the pastry community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade.