One of my favorite things about Downton Abbey (besides all the juicy drama, that is) is that food actually plays a rather important role in the story. When the downstairs staff, many important scenes take place in the kitchen while Mrs. Patmore and Daisy are preparing meals. Upstairs, a lot of riveting conversation and drama occurs at the dining table, especially when there are visitors present. For this reason, I have loved coming up with recipes to recreate so that I can feel more integrated in one of my favorite shows.
This apple charlotte recipe was inspired by one of the earliest episodes of the show. In season/series 1, Cora is desperate for her eldest daughter, Mary, to find a husband. To this end, she invites Sir Anthony Strallan over for dinner. Cora hopes that Mary and Sir Anthony will hit it off over dinner, but Lord Grantham isn’t so optimistic since he is “at least my age and as dull as paint.” Well, then.
In preparation for Sir Anthony’s visit, Cora asks Mrs. Patmore to make Sir Anthony’s favorite apple charlotte recipe for dessert. That sounded very fancy, and I do love a good apple dessert, so I did some research. A “charlotte” is a type of molded pudding. Traditionally, it should be baked in a charlotte mold, though you can use a casserole dish or souffle dish like I did. It will certainly look prettier if you use a charlotte mold, however.
I used this recipe from Food Network and it turned out great.
Apple Charlotte Recipe – Downton Abbey
- 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 12-20 pieces of white bread, crusts removed
- Extra butter
- Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
- Cook the apple mixture on the stove for 45 minutes.
- Butter 4 bread slices (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan), and place them butter-side down on the bottom of the pan. Trim the edges to fit the shape of the pan if necessary, but make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered with bread.
- Cut 11 slices of bread (or however many are needed to cover the sides of the pan) in half, lengthwise. Butter the bread and place the pieces against the sides of the pan, buttered side out. Overlap the bread slices a bit to ensure there are no gaps.
- Pour the apple mixture into the pan over the buttered bread.
- Cut 7 bread slices (or however many needed for the top of the pan) into triangles.
- Fan the bread triangles across the top of the pan, ensuring they cover the apple filling entirely. Brush the tops with melted butter.
- Bake the pudding at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Allow the pudding to cool slightly and set. Flip the pudding onto a serving platter to slice and serve.
This apple charlotte recipe tastes great when served with whipped cream or ice cream. Serve it up for a fancy dinner to impress guests, or make it just for a fun treat.
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