1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup butter, very cold, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped or ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon water, cold
1¾ pounds Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, sliced (about 1 pound or 4 cups prepared)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
best quality vanilla ice cream
- To prepare Streusel Topping, in a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, sugar, and salt.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture until mixture is evenly crumbly.
- Add the hazelnuts or walnuts and combine well.
- Combine the vinegar and water and sprinkle over the topping. Mix lightly with a fork, using a lifting motion rather than a stirring motion. The idea is to gently distribute the moisture throughout the topping.
- To prepare Fruit Filling,
in a mixing bowl, gently combine the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, orange zest, cornstarch, and salt.
- To assemble and bake, butter six, individual, 1½ cup gratin or soufflé dishes.
- Divide the fruit filling between the six dishes.
- Top each dish with an equal portion of the streusel topping, and then top with an equal portion of the almonds.
- Arrange the gratin dishes on an edged baking sheet and lay a piece of foil loosely on top.
- Bake at 350º for ½ hour, remove the foil, and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. If necessary, broil for a minute or so or use a kitchen torch to brown the tops.
- Remove from the oven, let cool somewhat, and then serve while still warm, preferably with homemade vanilla ice cream.