Gooseberry Charlotte with Cognac Zabaglione

Alan Coxon partners a glorious gooseberry charlotte with light and fluffy cognac zabaglione in this irresistible dinner party dessert
By Alan Coxon
Gooseberry Charlotte with Cognac Zabaglione
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the filling

  • 375 ml dry white wine
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and rind
  • 1 x 3 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 300 g gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 450 g cooking apples, peeled and cored
  • 25 g cornflour
  • 3 tbsp cream sherry

For the outer crust

  • 17 tbsp thin slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • 250 g unsalted butter

For the cognac zabaglione

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 25 ml dry white wine
  • 25 ml cognac


1. To make the filling, heat the wine, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon together, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Add the gooseberries and poach gently for 2-3 minutes to soften (taking care not to let the liquid reach simmering point or the gooseberries will burst open).

3. Add the apple, stir gently and continue to poach for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and set aside in a clean bowl.

4. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil.

5. Mix the sherry and cornflour together to make a smooth paste, and add to the poaching liquor, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from the heat, pour the liquid over the fruit and set aside.

6. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Cut the bread slices into triangles to snugly line a 2-litre charlotte mould or soufflé dish. Reserve one slice of bread for the top.

7. Dip the triangular bread pieces into the melted butter and line the mould. Place on a tray and bake for 3-4 minutes until coloured.

8. Remove from the oven and fill with the gooseberry mixture. Press down gently and drizzle with the juice. Cut the reserved slice of bread into a circle to fit the dish. Butter this bread circle and arrange it on top of the pudding. Return to the oven for 45 minutes to brown the bread. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, make the cognac zabaglione. Whip the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.

10. Add the white wine and cognac, set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk vigorously until the zabaglione thickens to soft peaks.

11. Slice the pudding and serve straight away with the zabaglione.

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