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Mary Berry vs Jamie Oliver Apple Crumble

Celebrity Recipes
Adding a sweet, buttery crumble topping to Mary Berry's apple crumble recipe

First thoughts on the bakes:

I really liked how shopping for these two bakes was so simple - I found Billington’s sugar really easily at my local Sainsbury’s, and there are so few ingredients for each recipe, so they’re really cost-efficient. The Billington’s sugar really made a difference, and I’ll be getting it again - it gave both puddings this lovely deep richness, which my family and I enjoyed.

In terms of complexity, both were really simple recipes to follow. It’s great that both recipes are egg-free, and if you switch the butter out for a dairy-free butter, you could easily make either of these vegan. I swapped out butter for dairy-free butter as my nephew is dairy-intolerant, and both recipes turned out so well - I couldn’t even taste the difference.

Ingredients for an apple crumble sitting on a white tablecloth next to a box of Billington's sugar

Mary Berry’s apple crumble recipe - a top-level look:

  • Ease of baking: 9/10
  • Enjoyment to bake: 6/10 - Peeling and chopping the apples took a long time!
  • Time to bake: 40 minutes. However, I let this crumble cook for slightly longer as the top wasn’t browning after 40 minutes
  • Appearance of bake: 7/10
  • Taste test: 7/10
  • End result: 7/10

Want to bake for yourself? Here’s Mary Berry’s apple crumble recipe.

Jamie Oliver’s apple crumble recipe - a top-level look:

  • Ease of baking: 9/10
  • Enjoyment to bake: 6 /10 - once again, preparing the apples took a long time!
  • Time to bake: 50 minutes - however, I almost burned this bake as I checked on it at the 45-minute mark and it was totally done.
  • Appearance of bake: 5/10 - this recipe uses fewer ingredients so it didn’t look as browned and caramelly. Also, the crumble didn’t cover the apples well enough.
  • Taste test:  6/10
  • End result: 6/10 

Want to give Jamie’s apple crumble a go? Try out Jamie Oliver’s apple crumble recipe and let us know how you get on!

Stirring together the ingredients for an apple crumble

Mary Berry vs Jamie Oliver apple crumble:

Both of these bakes were delicious - despite the simplicity of the ingredients they use. I was surprised by how much sugar was recommended in both recipes, and I think you definitely need to accompany both crumbles with either ice cream or custard to balance out the flavours.

I felt that without cinnamon, something was missing - I’ve always included cinnamon when I’ve made apple crumble in the past. However, I loved how soft and sweet the apples became. I used organic apples, and I felt the sugar and butter worked really well with them.

The Mary Berry recipe had more crumble topping - my favourite part - and the Jamie Oliver crumble felt a little bit like eating apple jam with a slight sprinkling of crumble.

Mary Berry apple crumble verdict:

How did it taste?

I think Mary’s apple crumble recipe tasted great - but the ultimate taste test was given to my nephew, who ate a whole bowl full of crumble with custard. He loved it, and had it for breakfast too. I loved the buttery topping and the apples were very sweet.

Mouthfeel and texture:

The apples were absolutely delicious - I think cooking them beforehand with water and butter softened them up beautifully. Overall, it was a smooth, rich bake which had this lovely creamy aftertaste.

What would Mary Berry’s apple crumble pair well with?

When I make this crumble again, I’ll pair it with ice cream instead of custard. I would also enjoy it with a glass of prosecco as well, as I feel like the sharpness and tang of the fizz would balance out the sweetness. I felt that this pudding was too filling to have after a big meal, so I’d find it more suitable after tapas or a lighter savoury snack.

Spooning apples for apple crumble into a saucepan with butter and sugar

Jamie Oliver apple crumble verdict:

How did it taste?

The apples were also delicious - they were less buttery than Mary Berry’s, but I liked the sharp tang of them which cut through the butter of the crumble topping.

Mouthfeel and texture:

I feel like the texture of this bake was affected by the amount of crumble - there didn’t seem to be enough to cover the apples, and it didn’t contain as much butter. The crumble was drier, too; I prefer my crumble topping a little richer! 

What would Jamie Oliver’s apple crumble pair well with?

As it’s lighter and almost like a compote, I’d say this would go well with a big sandwich and a cup of tea. It’s definitely less filling and less decadent than Mary’s crumble.

Top view of a Mary Berry apple crumble in a black dish

Overall verdict:

Overall winner: Mary Berry

Mary wins this round - the ingredients seemed much more proportional, there was the buttery sweetness of a crumble which I was expecting, and it stayed much more ‘moist’.

I also thought the ratio between crumble and apple was better-balanced, and I would maybe try this recipe next time with pears or plums as well to add some contrasting flavours.

What went well?

The recipe method and finding the ingredients was super easy - and it helped that I pre-measured all of the ingredients and separated them so I was able to cook really efficiently. Both bakes are definitely child-friendly, but I chopped the apples while my nephew snacked on them.

What was a challenge:

Chopping the apples can be a bit tedious, so it’s a good idea to prepare them ahead of time and give yourself enough time to chop and peel them uniformly. I also felt that both bakes needed me to be in the kitchen more during the baking time - I was right to not leave them unattended, as the Jamie crumble recipe nearly burned!

How would you improve these recipes?

I’d definitely include cinnamon with both of them next time - I really missed cinnamon in both of these bakes! Maybe it’s just my personal taste, but I felt like having some more fruits in the apple mix, like raisins or plums, would have provided a really nice contrast.

If I was going to try Jamie’s recipe again, I’d consider doubling the ingredients for the crumble, or at least increase the crumble ingredients proportionally to make sure it covered the fruit.