my favorite.

… apple crumble.

and exactly what I’m going to make post-foray-into-no-sugar-land, which is proving to be both tedious and rewarding. (You know how nutritionists say you’ll actually feel better upon limiting consumption of sugar + white flour? It appears there’s something to that!)

Still, this newfound sugar-free-ness is not going to stop me from making apple crumble after Lent and giving it to my favorite people. (And, who am I kidding, probably having a few bites. I simply can’t resist a solid apple crumble.)

I chanced upon this recipe by Nigel Slater quite a ways back and adapted it slightly, and its simplicity is unrivaled. It’s pretty and delicious to boot and an excellent summer dessert when apples are plentiful. lv, molly

Word to the wise: DO let the apples cook and the sugar/ juices caramelize in the skillet. Don’t rush through this step.

The Best Apple Crumble

4 medium (~850 grams) apples
Half a lemon, juiced
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbl unsalted butter

7 Tbl cold unsalted butter
1 ¼ C all-purpose flour (you can also do half oats/ half flour– a nice combo)
3 ½ Tbl brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and core the apples; cut them into rough 1-inch chunks; and toss them with the juice of the lemon half and the sugar.
Warm a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and when it’s melted, add the apples and any remaining juices. Place the apples in a single layer, and then leave them alone for a while to cook (I know this can be hard!). The juices will thicken to a syrup that coats the fruit, and the fruit should get golden in parts. Stir gently a couple times, and cook until the apples have a little color. (This may take longer than you’d expect, but don’t skip this step.) They’ll smell delicious, and everyone within a 10-mile radius will want this crumble. Ok, that’s a lie.
Turn the apples and any caramelly juices out of the skillet into a baking dish. (Approximately 10″x7″ but don’t worry too much if it’s not exactly the same size.) If there are any sticky bits left in the skillet, add a squeeze of lemon juice and/or a splash of water, and stir until they dissolve. Then add to the apples.
To make the topping, put the butter and the flour in a medium bowl, and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, you could do this in a food processor or a fork.) Stir in the sugar. Drizzle in a tablespoon of water, and shake the bowl back and forth until some of the mixture sticks together in gravel-sized lumps. Distribute the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until pale golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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