Apple Charlotte, Unmolded (A Hot or Cold Dessert)



  1. 6 lbs firm nonjuicy cooking apples (Golden Delicious are always reliable)
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 cup dark rum
  5. 3 Tb butter
  6. 10 to 12 slices of homemade type white bread, 4 inches square and 1/4 inch thick
  7. 1 cup clarified butter
  8. 1/2 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
  9. 3 Tb dark rum
  10. 2 Tb granulated sugar
  11. Optional: 2 cups creme anglaise (custard sauce) or 2 cups lightly whipped cream flavored with rum and powdered sugar
  12. A heavy-bottomed stainless or enameled pan 12 inches across
  13. A wooden spoon
  14. A 6-cup, fireproof, cylindrical mold about 3 1/2 inches high
  15. A pan
  16. A serving platter


  1. Quarter, peel, and core the apples.
  2. Slice them roughly into 1/8-inch pieces.
  3. You should have about 4 quarts.
  4. Place in pan, cover, and cook over very low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  5. Uncover and beat in the apricot preserves, sugar, vanilla, rum, and butter.
  6. Raise heat and boil, stirring almost continuously until water content has all but evaporated20 minutes or more.
  7. The puree should be a very thick and fairly stiff paste which holds itself in a solid mass in the spoon.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Remove crusts from the bread.
  10. Cut a square and 4 semicircles of bread to fit the bottom of the mold exactly.
  11. Saute to a very light golden color in 3 or 4 tablespoons of the clarified butter.
  12. Fit them into the bottom of the mold.
  13. Cut the rest of the bread into strips 1 1/4 inches wide.
  14. Dip in clarified butter and fit them, overlapping each other, around the inner circumference of the mold.
  15. Trim off protruding ends.
  16. Pack the apple puree into the mold, allowing it to form a dome about 3/4 inch high in the middle.
  17. (It will sink as it cools.)
  18. Cover with 4 or 5 butter-dipped bread strips.
  19. Pour any remaining clarified butter over the ends of the bread around the edges of the mold.
  20. Set in a pan (to catch butter drippings) and bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
  21. Slip a knife between bread and sides of mold; if bread is golden brown, the charlotte is done.
  22. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  23. Reverse the mold on a serving platter and lift the mold up a few inches to see if the sides of the dessert will hold.
  24. If there is any suggestion of collapse, lower the mold over the dessert again; it will firm up as it cools.
  25. Test after 5 minutes or so, until the mold can safely be removed.
  26. Boil the apricot, rum, and sugar until thick and sticky.
  27. Spread it over the charlotte.
  28. Serve the dessert hot, warm, or cold, with the optional sauce or cream.