An Apple Crumble from Brussels -

Its funny how our paths cross with people who don’t even know us and somehow they make an impact in our lives by doing something for us or giving us their precious time to help us learn and grow. 
In the past few months I have met many such people on the face book group “Chef At Large” who have become friends and fellow cooking buddies. Apolina from one such person who has touched my life in her own special way. She is a fellow Mumbaikar based in Brussels and is an amazing baker. Last week she offered to teach me how to bake beautiful Dinner rolls and an Apple Crumble on Skype. Well who was I to say no. So a time and date was set and ingredients were gathered for the big day.
I was extremely nervous when the time came because my baking skills leave a lot to be desired and she is a professional. However all my fears were dumbfounded because she immediately put me at ease with her huge smile and easy going attitude that for a minute I felt that she was right in my kitchen and not in a different continent. 
She started teaching me the basics of baking bread/rolls and I got so excited with the way my rolls were shaping up that I completely forgot to take pictures and write down the ingredients. So while I try and figure the recipe out with Apolina’s help I decided I will atleast blog about the beautiful Apple Crumble which was so easy to make and such a delicious treat. 
The best thing about this recipe is you always have most ingredients available in your pantry. The original recipe asks from Granny Smith Apples but I used normal Red apples and honestly did not feel the difference. 
I cannot thank Apolina enough for doing this with me. I now feel I am confident enough to churn out such a classic dessert without breaking into a sweat.
Recipe – (Preparation time 45 minutes including baking time, serves 4)

For the Crumble
300g plain flour, sieved pinch of salt 
175g unrefined brown Sugar 
200g unsalted Butter 
For the Filling
450g Apples (you can use Pears instead of Apple and get a lovely Pear tart)
50g unrefined brown Sugar 
1 tbsp plain Flour 
1 pinch of ground Cinnamon
Water and Juice of half a Lemon for storing the Apples

Peel and dice the Apples into small cubes and put them in a bowl of fresh water with some Lemon juice. The Lemon juice would prevent the Apples turning dark.

Chop the cold Butter into really small chunks and keep it aside. You can also use melted Butter at room temperature.
In a bowl add the Flour, Sugar and Butter for the Crumble and start mixing them slowly with your hands till the mixture starts to resemble Bread crumbs. You need to rub the Butter well to ensure there are no lumps. Keep this mixture aside. If you feel that you have made a lot of Crumble you can store the remaining mixture in an airtight container in your fridge for up to one week and use it to make more Apple Crumble. 

Drain the water from the Apples and add the Flour, Cinnamon powder and Sugar we have taken for the filling and mix well. The Flour will drain out any extra juices that the Sugar and Apples will release.

Grease an oven proof dish with some Butter and add the Apple filling in it. Sprinkle the Crumble mixture very gently on top of the filling. You need to ensure you do not use a spoon to press the Crumble in else you will have a Cookie like coating instead of a Crumble. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for around 30 minutes till the Crumble has become beautifully Golden. 

Serve with some Vanilla Ice cream or whipped fresh Cream.