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Apple Charlotte is like an autumn version of summer pudding, with spiced, fruit-juice soaked bread forming the tasty outer crust.
Just like a summer pudding, the bread forms the outer 'pastry' of the pie with stewed apples heaped in the middle. As the Charlotte cooks, the bread soaked up all the delicious cooking juices from the apples. Rather than the bright purple effect you get from summer pudding, here you get a beautiful golden dome. Apple Charlotte is a great way to use up bruised, older apples - they will all taste lovely once they're in the pie. It's also useful for finishing off a white loaf that is getting old - a proper leftovers pud. Serve with ice cream or hot custard.
- 800g cooking apples - half Bramley and half Cox’s ideally
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 135g butter
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 6 slices of white bread or brioche from a large loaf
- 1 egg yolk
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, rinse under cold water and place in a saucepan with the spices, 50g of the butter and the sugar. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until they are soft enough to beat into a textured purèe - then leave to one side to cool.
- Meanwhile, remove the crusts from all slices of bread, then cut each slice into rectangles. Melt the remaining butter, brush each rectangle of bread with butter on both sides. Use around three quarters of the buttered bread to line the inside of a pudding basin, ensuring not to leave any gaps between the pieces - overlap them and press firmly.
- When the purèed apple has cooled, beat the yolk into it and fill the lined basin with the mixture.
- Seal the top of the pudding basin with overlapping slices of the remaining bread. Place an ovenproof plate on top of the pudding and weight it down with a 900g scale weight. Leave for half an hour at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6 and cook the pudding with the weight still on top of it for 35 minutes, then remove the plate and weight and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown. Allow to cool briefly in the basin before inverting over a serving plate.
Top Tip for making Apple Charlotte
Add a handful of juicy sultanas to the apples as you are cooking them if you like.
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