Prepare the Filling
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the apples in a glass or ceramic baking container with a 2 1/2-quart capacity. Either an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish or a 9 1/2- to 10-inch diameter round pie dish, both with 1 3/4- to 2-inch high sides, works well. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture and lemon juice over the apples. Stir the mixture to combine the ingredients, spreading them in an even layer in the baking dish. Set aside.
Mix the Topping
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and use a large spoon to stir them together. Add the butter pieces, stirring to coat them with the flour. Rub the butter pieces and flour between your thumb and fingertips or cut them together with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form that are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size, there is no loose flour, and the mixture looks pale yellow rather than white. Spread the crumbs evenly over the apple mixture.
Bake and Serve the Crumble
Bake about 40 minutes until the crumb topping is golden but with a few spots of light brown, and the apples are tender when tested with a toothpick. Let the crumble cool about 15 minutes before serving. Spoon the warm crumble onto individual plates and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired. The crumble can be baked a day ahead, cooled, covered, and stored at room temperature. Warm it, uncovered, in a preheated 250°F oven for 15 minutes.
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