Apple and cinnamon charlotte with custard

Claire Clarks dessert makes a great way to round off Sunday lunch for family and friends
Apple and cinnamon charlotte with custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cinnamon charlotte

  • 1 X 400 g loaf of white bread, (a few days old), crusts removed, thinly sliced
  • 250 g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 6-8 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, pared, zest in strips
  • 25 g caster sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the custard

  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 125 ml milk
  • 125 ml single cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60 g caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

For the cinnamon charlotte: butter eight dariole moulds, then stamp out 16 rounds of bread - the same size as the base of the moulds. Dip the rounds in melted butter and put one disc at the bottom of each mould.

Cut eight slices of bread into 4 equal strips each. Trim the strips so they are the same height of the dariole moulds. Dip into the butter, one at a time, then use to line the tins, slightly overlapping them.

Put the apples in a large pan with the water. Add the lemon zest, bring to the boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking.

Once the apples have softened, remove the lid and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. Stir often to stop the apples burning. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and discard the lemon zest strips

Divide the apple mixture between the bread-lined dariole moulds, leaving a 2cm gap at the top. Dip the remaining bread discs in melted butter and put on top of the apples in each mould.

Carefully turn each filled dariole mould onto a piece of parchment paper and tap firmly this helps level the bread topping of the charlotte. Using the paper, flip the moulds back over and transfer onto a baking sheet. Bake, in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread topping is golden-brown. To test if they are ready, turn one of the moulds over and shake it gently. The charlotte should come out easily and should be evenly coloured.

For the custard: pour the milk into a saucepan, scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, then add the pod. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually strain the hot milk through a sieve onto the egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking constantly.

Return the mixture to a clean pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl serve chilled with the cinnamon charlottes.

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