Every year, we take our kids (at least a few times) to Hickory Nut Gap Farm, a local farm that has been in the same family for many generations, and a great place to spend the day. There are animals to see, a barn that is piled to the ceiling with hay for kids to play in and ropes to swing on, you can ride a pony, get your face painted, go through a corn maze, and go home with all the apples you could ever eat. We went last weekend for the first time this fall, and came home with a whole bushel. I set to work immediately making apple treats, including this apple crumble. Which was so delicious, it was gobbled up before I could get photos of it! Let me tell you how upset I was that I had to make it again.
I used a combination of apples from the farm, including Mutsu, Fuji, Rome and Granny Smiths. The recipe calls for a cup of sugar - a cup!!! - in the filling. Excessive, no? I will never understand why there is always so much sugar in fruit desserts. Anyway, I cut that sugar out entirely. I never put any in my apple pies and they're always delicious, and they don't even have any sweetener in the crust. This crumble has a full 3/4 cup sugar - palm sugar for me - in the topping, so I knew it would be plenty sweet.
The flavor of the palm sugar was so incredible in the topping - it tastes almost molasses-y, and was such a wonderful complement to the apples and spices. It is a wonder any of the topping actually got baked, because I kept nibbling on it before it went into the oven.