Apple and Plum Charlotte with Custard

Autumn fruits inside golden, buttery baked bread with fresh egg custard make this exquisite dessert from James Martin a sure winner
By James Martin
Apple and Plum Charlotte with Custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the charlotte

  • 500 g Bramley apples
  • 6 plums
  • 175 g butter
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 10 slices white bread

For the custard

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 300 ml milk
  • 300 ml double cream


1. Peel, core and slice the apples; halve the plums removing the stones.

2. Melt 25g of the butter in a large saucepan with the sugar, and add the apples. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove the lid and add the plums. Cook for a further 5 -10 minutes, until the fruit becomes a smooth purée.

4. Stir in the apricot jam and leave to cool.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

6. Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each slice in half lengthways, and cut each half into 4 even-sized fingers. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan.

7. Dip each piece of bread into the melted butter and line the mould, reserving some pieces for the lid.

8. Once the mould is lined, spoon in the apple and plum purée and top with more butter-dipped bread for the lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the dessert is golden brown.

9. In the meantime, make the custard. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until smooth.

10. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the point of a knife. Pour the milk and cream in a saucepan, add the vanilla seeds and pod, and place over a gentle heat. Bring the mixture to the boil.

11. Sit the bowl with the beaten eggs and sugar over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk in the hot cream. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. Keep stirring until it coats the back of the spoon.

12. Remove the bowl from the heat and serve the custard straight away with the charlotte.

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