Spiced Apple Charlotte with Calvados Caramel

charlotte aux pommesApple filling                                  2-4 servings

3 apple such as gala, golden delicious or pink lady

2 tbsp. butter, unsalted

2 tbsp. sugar

1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped

1/2  lemon, zest only

1/8 tsp  cinnamon, ground

1 pinch fresh nutmeg

1 tbsp. apple jelly

1 tbsp Calvados (or other apple brandy)

  1. Peel and dice the apples into ¼” cubes, and mix in a large bowl with vanilla, lemon zest, spice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. In a saucepan, heat up the butter and add the apple mixture.
  3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes (stirring occasionally) . Remove the lid, turn down the heat and cook for another 5 minutes or until very soft.
  4. Add the apple jelly and the calvados; mix and set aside to cool.

Making the charlotte                   4 servings

1 loaf  soft white bread, sliced (a milk loaf or slightly sweeter bread works well)

1 recipe apple filling

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

½ cup  sugar

  1. Generously grease 4 - 8oz ramekins
  2. Cut 8 rounds out of the bread(no crusts) that will line the bottoms of the ramekins as well as serve as lids for the top.
  3. Now cut out long rectangle shapes that will wrap around the inside of each ramekin (4 pieces)
  4. Starting with 4 rounds, dip each piece in the melted butter, and then lay on side into the sugar, then fit in the bottom of each ramekin sugar side down. Then do each rectangular side piece, and position it with the sugar side to the outside.
  5. Spoon the apple mixture into the bread lined ramekin until more than full.
  6. Then dip and coat (with butter and sugar) the remaining rounds and put them on top of the ramekin as a lid again with the sugar side on the exterior. They will look overly full but the apples will cook down in the oven.
  7. Cover the baking tray of ramekins with tightly wrapped tin foil and bake until brown and caramelized on all sides.
  8. To serve, run a knife around the edge of each ramekin and invert onto each plate.
  9. Serve with Ice cream and calvados caramel sauce

Calvados Caramel Sauce    1 cup

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. corn syrup

½ tsp.  lemon juice

¼ cup water

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp  Calvados (or other apple brandy)

  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the water, sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice to a boil – do not stir or swirl the pot.
  2. With a clean pastry brush, occasionally brush the sides of the saucepan with cold water to keep the boiling sugar from crystallizing on the sides of the pan.
  3. Allow the boiling sugar mixture to change color to an amber color, then remove from the heat and carefully and very slowly whisk in the cream. The reaction can be quite wild – but just keep stirring.
  4. Add the butter and stir, and then add the Calvados.
  5. Allow this mixture to cool slightly prior to serving.