Friday, 18 March 2016


“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” - Martin Luther

Autumn is coming in the Southern Hemisphere and Melbourne has just experienced a few cool, grey days with lots of rain. The kitchen is becoming an attractive place to spend some time in and do some cooking. Meanwhile in the markets, new season apples, pears and nuts are making their appearance. This dessert recipe is just perfect for this kind of weather!

Apple Charlotte
500 g apples – half Granny Smith and half Jonathan
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Ground cinnamon and cloves
120 g butter
6-7 slices bread from a large loaf, cut about 5 mm thick, with crusts removed
2 egg yolks

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Rinse them in cold water and put them in a saucepan with the sugar and 25 g of the butter. Cook them over a low heat until they are soft enough to beat into a purée. Beat them and leave on one side to cool. Stir in the vanilla essence.
Meanwhile melt the remaining butter gently. Brush with butter the inside of a 600 mL ovenproof pudding basin.
Cut each slice of bread into rectangles. Brush each piece of bread with melted butter (both sides), being careful not to leave any unbuttered patches, then line the pudding basin with as much bread is needed. Don’t leave any gaps between the pieces, overlap them if need be and press firmly. Lightly dust the inside of the bread shell with ground cinnamon and cloves and also a little sugar.
When the apple purée has cooled, beat the egg yolks into it, mix well and fill the lined basin with the mixture. Finally seal the top with overlapping slices of the remaining bread. Place a suitably sized ovenproof plate on top of the pudding and weight it down with a heavy weight. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
After 30 minutes place the basin (with the weight still on it) in the oven to bake for 35 minutes. Then, with an oven cloth, remove the plate and weight, and bake the pudding for another 10 minutes to brown on top. Leave the pudding to settle in the basin for a minute after removing from the oven, then carefully invert it on to a warmed plate to serve.
Serve with clotted cream or ice cream.

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