Christmas Charlotte

Serves 4 in 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

This dish can be made in a 1 pint pudding basin or use ramekins or dariole moulds to make individual ones. Thinking back to the autumn glut of apples you've still got left what about making a Charlotte but incorporate some mincemeat to turn it a little bit seasonal. I've left out the obligatory booze but you might like to splash in some rum or brandy just to top up your central heating from within! So flambé the apples then mix them with the mince meat.

* * *


Peel, core and slice the apples then place in a saucepan with 30g butter and 25g sugar. Heat up and cook to a puree.

Remove from heat and mix in the mincemeat.

Remove the crusts from the bread and cut the bread into rectangles, small ones if using smaller moulds.

Melt the remaining butter and brush each rectangle with butter on one side.

Line which ever moulds you decide to use with the buttered bread, butter side out.

Don't leave any gaps by overlapping the bread.

Beat the egg yolks into the cooled apple and mincemeat mixture then fill into the lined mould or moulds.

Cover the top of the charlottes with the remaining bread.

Place on a baking tray and cover with baking paper then place a weight on top.

Heat the oven to 200°C and after resting the charlottes for 20 minutes place in the middle of the oven to cook with the weight still in place.

Cook for 30 minutes for a large basin or 15 to 20 minutes for smaller ones, then remove the weight and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the bottoms.

Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before carefully un-moulding onto warmed plates. Serve with crème frâiche or ice cream.

* * *