As with many seasonal fruit recipes, once sweetened to taste, all apples will work well here so use whatever you have on hand.
This is a real apple charlotte, moulded in a basin, so that when it’s turned out the outside is crisp and buttery with the apples cooked to a pulp inside.
The key to success is to reduce the apple puree thoroughly so that the dessert does not collapse when turned out. If your mixture is too liquid, it will seep through the bread walls and undermine the structural integrity.
Rick Stein’s recipe for apple charlotte is simple but delicious – if you’re feeling like amping things up a bit, add your favourite spices such as cloves or cinnamon.
- 125g butter
- 700g mixed tart apples
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- grated lemon zest, to taste
- 6–8 slices white bread, about 5mm thick, crusts removed
- custard, cream or ice cream to serve
Grease a pudding basin, about 15cm in diameter and 10cm deep, with plenty of butter. Peel, core and finely slice the apples. Rinse in cold water and put them in a saucepan with the sugar, lemon zest and 30g of the butter. Cook to a pulp over a low heat and then beat to a puree with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
Melt the remaining butter. Dip each slice of bread into the butter and then line a pudding basin with about three-quarters of the slices. Pack them in tightly and don’t leave any gaps. Spoon in the cooled apple puree and cover with the remaining buttered pieces of bread and gently push down.
Read: Glazed Apple Tart
Tightly cover the pudding with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further eight to 10 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave the pudding to rest for five minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. Serve with custard, clotted cream or ice cream.
Rick Stein At Home: Recipes, Memories And Stories From A Food Lover’s Kitchen is published by BBC Books. Photography by James Murphy. Available now.
What’s your favourite apple dessert? Let us know in the comments section below.
– With PA
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