Apple Charlotte

Apple Charlotte

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins
  • Cook: 48 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 4 puddings

Britain is famous for its hearty filling puddings and apple Charlotte—believed to be named after wife of King George III—is a very popular one.

The Charlotte is made with days-old bread that's slathered in melted butter, filled with stewed apples, then baked. Surprisingly, this is not as heavy as some of the equally famous puddings such as spotted dick or treacle sponge, the real heavyweights of British puddings. The delicious fall dessert is surprisingly light, but still comforting.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound apples
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 to 6 slices white Farmhouse bread
  • For Serving: custard or whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Apple Charlotte ingredients

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  2. Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples into equal chunks. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar on medium heat in a saucepan large enough to hold the apples. Add the apple pieces, stir, then cook gently for 10 minutes until the apples are starting to soften. Remove from the heat and keep to one side.

    Apple cubes in bowl

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  3. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 6-inch pudding basin. Take one slice of the bread, remove the crusts, and cut to fit the base. Brush clarified butter over both sides of the bread disc and then fit snugly into the base.

    Bowl with bread at the bottom

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  4. Remove the crusts from your remaining slices of bread, keep one slice to one side for the lid and cut the remaining into rectangles approximately 3 by 1 1/2 inch. You will need enough rectangles to line the sides of the pudding basin with a slight overlap and reaching to the upper rim of the bowl. Paint the bread with lots of clarified butter; the bread should be well saturated.

    Bowl lined with bread and brushed with butter

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  5. Fill the bowl with the cooked apples.

    Bread bowl filled with apples

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  6. Cut the last slice of bread into a circle and lay on the top, butter well. If you do not have enough bread to cut a circle, you can use leftovers and cut into triangles; it will still work well. Remember to use lots of butter.

    uncooked Apple Charlotte

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  7. Cut a circle of thick cardboard to fit inside the rim of the bowl. Cover this with foil and lay on top of the Charlotte. The lid now needs to be weighted down. Use a ramekin or small ovenproof dish that will sit comfortably on the top and fill with small stones or pie weights.

    Apple Charlotte with foil lid

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  8. Place the dish on a baking sheet and cook in the center of the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the bread is golden down the sides. You can see this by gently lifting the cardboard lid and seeing if the edges are turning golden brown. Once this happens, remove the cardboard lid and cook for 8 minutes longer to brown the top. It will not go as golden as the sides but don't worry; this will be the base when cooked.

    Apple Charlotte on a plate

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  9. Remove from the oven, remove the cardboard lid, and cover with a plate. Flip over and the Charlotte should drop neatly onto the plate. Serve immediately with custard or whipped cream.

    Apple Charlotte

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm