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For the topping, add all the ingredients – other than the optional extras – to a food processor with a small pinch of salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs, but do not overwork (this can also be done by hand). Now toss through the optional topping ingredients, if using, then tip into a container, cover and freeze for at least 1 hr or until needed. Can be made up to one week ahead. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. If you want a dark, crumbly topping, tip the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins until golden. Leave to cool and re-crumble, then set aside (keep the oven on).
For the apples, add the butter, sugar, apple juice, cinnamon and bay to a saucepan. Boil vigorously until you have a sputtering, buttery caramel. Remove the bay and cinnamon, then throw in half the Bramley apples. Cook down to a purée, then remove from the heat and stir through the rest of the Bramley apple chunks until coated. Transfer to a baking dish.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 (if you part-baked your topping in step 1, it should already be at this temperature). Arrange the sliced Cox’s apple over the cooked apples in an even layer. Sprinkle your choice of crumble mixture loosely and roughly over the top, then bake for 30-40 mins until the crumble has browned and the filling is bubbling at the sides (30 mins if you part-baked the crumble, but keep an eye on it). Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving. While the crumble is baking, make the optional sugar and spice blend by mixing all the ingredients with a small pinch of salt. Serve on the side to sprinkle over.