Apple Charlottes

Paul Rankin's elegant version of a traditional apple pudding makes a delicious dessert, ideal for dinner parties
By Paul Rankin
Apple Charlottes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 750 g Bramley apples
  • 1 lemons, juice and grated zest
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 12 slices white bread, good quality, crusts trimmed
  • 1 sprig fresh mint, to decorate
  • 1 tsp icing sugar, to decorate

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Grease six175g metal pudding moulds. 2. Peel and roughly chop the apples, and sprinkle them liberally with the lemon juice. 3. Place the chopped apple in a heavy-based saucepan with a spoonful of the butter. Add about 125g of the caster sugar, the remaining lemon juice and the lemon zest. 4. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until the apples are soft and mushy, Do not use a lid, as you want the cooking liquid to evaporate as much as possible. Don't worry if there are a few chunks; texture is nice. 5. Sprinkle about three tablespoons of the remaining sugar into the first pudding mould and shake it until the entire inside of the mould is well covered with sugar. 6. Pour the excess into the next mould and repeat the same process until you have sugared all six moulds. 7. Brush both sides of the bread slices with the softened butter. Cut the slices into strips about 4cm wide and slightly higher than the side of the moulds. Cut six rounds, one for the base of each mould. 8. Place a round in each base and carefully line the sides of the moulds with the strips. Overlap the strips to ensure a complete covering that will hold the apple filling. 9. Fill each mould with the apple and, lastly, lay a round of buttered bread on the top. 10. Bake the apple Charlottes in the oven for about ten minutes then reduce the temperature to 170ºC/gas 3 and continue to cook for a further 20-30 minutes until the bread is nicely golden and the Charlottes are firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. 11. Turn the Charlottes onto warm plates and decorate with springs of mint and icing sugar. 12. Serve with vanilla custard sauce.

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