To make the topping, beat butter, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add almond meal and flour.
Form into a ball, cover and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
For the filling, peel and core the apples. Chop into 1 cm cubes. Place in a 40cm x 30cm, or suitably large rectangular baking pan. Add sugar, rind and spices. Stir together lemon juice and cornflour until smooth. Add to apple mixture and toss to coat. Dot with pieces of butter.
Take the topping pastry out of the refrigerator. Grate topping using cheese grater on top of the apple mixture. Spread topping evenly over apples. Scatter almonds over topping.
Bake crumble for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce heat to moderate 180 degrees C; cook for another 25 minutes until pastry is golden and apples are bubbling.