To serve six people you will need:

  • 2 lb, 900 g, cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced.
  • half a level tsp ground cinnamon.
  • the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
  • 2 to 3 oz, 50 to 75 g, 2 to 3 tbsps of light soft brown sugar.
  • 3 oz, 75 g, butter, melted.
  • 8 thin slices of brown bread, crusts removed.
  1. Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5, 375 F, 190 C, 170 Fan.
  2. Put the apples, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice and sugar into a saucepan. Cover and simmer gently until pulpy, stirring occasionally.
  3. Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon, then cook, uncovered, over a high heat, stirring continuously, until any excess liquid has evaporated and the puree is very thick.
  4. Brush the melted butter all over the slices of bread.
  5. Line the base and sides of a greased 6 inch, 15 cm Charlotte mould or deep cake tin with the slices of bread, making sure that they overlap.
  6. Spoon in the apple puree and cover with more over-lapping slices of bread.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

serve at once, turned out and accompanied with custard or fresh cream.

There is much doubt surrounding the origin of the name “Charlotte”. Meat dishes known as “Charlets” were popular in the 15th century, but some say that this sweet dish took its name from Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.