Apple Charlotte

This delicious hot pudding is said to have been named after the heroine in Goethe’s novel Werther.

2 lb. cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters

4 oz. sugar the rind of

1 lemon

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

1 loaf of white bread a day or two old, crusts removed and cut into as many thin slices as required

4 tablespoons melted butter castor sugar

5 tablespoons apricot jam

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sherry

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Grease a charlotte mould or ovenproof dish with 1 teaspoon butter.

Put the apples, sugar, lemon rind and butter in a medium-sized saucepan and, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, simmer.gently until the apples are very soft. They should neither be completely whole nor completely mashed. Discard the lemon rind.

Cut the bread slices in halves. Dip the halved slices in the melted butter and line the bottom and sides of the mould or pudding bowl, overlapping the slices slightly. Fill with the apple mixture and cover with a layer of bread slices dipped in melted butter. Sprinkle the pudding with castor sugar and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

While the charlotte is baking, put the jam and water in a small saucepan. Stir and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sherry.

After taking the apple charlotte from the oven, let it stand for a minute or two before turning it out on to a warmed serving dish. Pour the warm, but not hot, jam sauce over it and serve immediately.

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