i love seeing the delight on my grandchildren’s faces as they dig their spoons in and discover the fruity, molten centre
STORIES · 09.09.21
Food | Recipes
I have a fondness for old-fashioned puddings, particularly those that make use of traditional farmshop ingredients. Apple and blackberry Charlotte is one of my favourites, and although they take a bit of time to assemble, these little versions are a delicious, hearty way to round off a long family lunch. I love seeing the delight on my grandchildren’s faces as they dig their spoons in and discover the fruity centre. These also make good use of any stale bread you might have left at the end of the week, transforming it into something fluffy, crisp and bursting with sweet autumnal fruit.
420g cooking apples (Bramleys work well)
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
90-100g caster sugar, depending on how tart the fruits are
110g unsalted butter, melted, plus some softened
butter to grease the moulds
12 slices of leftover bread
For the spiced glaze
60g caster sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
very small pinch of ground clove
crème fraîche or English custard, to serve
these make good use of any stale bread you might have left at the end of the week, transforming it into something fluffy, crisp and bursting with sweet autumnal fruit
Put four dariole moulds into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
Peel, core and roughly chop the apples, place in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the blackberries and bring to the boil with a tablespoon of water, the lemon juice and zest and sugar and cook until the apple starts to break down but still has some lumps in it. Set aside and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan.
Mix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Butter the insides of the moulds then pour the spiced sugar mixture into a mould and turn it to coat the surface, then empty the sugar into another mould and repeat; continue to do this until all moulds are coated with the spiced sugar.
Cut the bread into 4 discs for the base of the moulds and 4 slightly larger discs for the top, then cut the remainder into fingers. Brush all the bread shapes with the melted butter on one side. Place the smaller disc, butter-side down, in the base of each mould then position the fingers around the sides of the mould (again butter-side down) with each piece slightly overlapping, then spoon in the apple mix. Close the top with the slightly larger disc of buttered bread, butter-side up, and fold over any bread from the sides to form a seal.
Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the lids are golden and crisp, then remove and allow to set for 5 minutes before turning the Charlottes on to serving plates. Let them sit for at least another 5 minutes before lifting the mould away. Serve with custard or crème fraîche.
This recipe comes from the first issue of Seed, the biannual magazine I edit that celebrates food, craft, travel and sustainable living. After a hiatus, I am excited to share news that volume 04 is a work in progress, due to be published in spring 2022.