JULIA: This is a charlotte aux pommes, a deliciously flavored marmalade of apples baked in a buttery, toasty case.
See what a wonderful French dessert you can make just out of a loaf of bread and a big bowl full of apples when we do apple charlotte next time on The French Chef.
♪ ♪ This is a charlotte aux pommes, a beautifully flavored marmalade of apples baked in a toasty, buttery case.
See what the French can do with just a big loaf of bread, and a big bowl of apples when we do apple charlotte today on The French Chef.
♪ ♪ ANNOUNCER: The French Chef is made possible by a grant from the Polaroid Corporation and a grant from Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated.
Welcome to The French Chef.
I'm Julia Child.
You know, I think apples are everybody's favorite fruit since Adam and Eve, and it has... Apples have so many lovely connotations, like an apple for the teacher, or if you love someone, he's the apple of your eye.
Or if you want to impress someone, you polish up the apple.
And I think, even if some people who don't like desserts very much-- they always like an apple dessert, like a homemade apple pie or apple brown Betty.
And what we're going to do today is a French type of brown Betty called a charlotte aux pommes, or apple charlotte.
And for it, we need a whole lot of sliced apples.
We need five or six quarts of them.
And this is the kind of kitchen dog work that you've just got to do as fast as you can.
Otherwise, the dessert seems like a dog.
And slicing apples, you can do fairly quickly.
Now there is a thing called a sort of apple carver and slicer, and you can use that if you want.
It just has some segment places, and you put your apple down and go... (grunts) And then this is designed by someone who's never done apples, obviously.
The bottom doesn't come out.
So I just take the top of a sink thing-- you know, the sink knob-- and push it down on that, and pull out the core.
Then... you have your apples all in slices, and then you just take the peel off.
And if you think that's a nice way to do apples, you can do them that way.
I frankly think that just the plain old hand-slicing is the easiest where you just...
I always cut the apple... into quarters, and then with one... sort of one movement and a very sharp knife, cut out the core and then around the peel.
And I find this goes very quickly.
And then if you have to slice them, you just hold it over your measure and just slice them like that.
You see, I think this goes very well, but you have to be sure that you have a good sharp knife.
And I think if you're used to using a knife, you... and practice with it, you find you can do things like slicing much more quickly than you used to be able to do.
And now the... What we're going to do is to make a big... a very fancy type of French apple sauce.
And we need five or six quarts of apples.
This is going to serve six people.
And the type of apple to use is something that is crisp and full of flavor.
If you can find what they call a tart cooking apple that has flavor, that's fine.
I'm using Red Gravensteins, which I like very much, but as long as it has flavor and crispness, that's the kind of apple to use.
And then, when you have your... all your apples sliced, put them into a big pot.
And if you have to do them ahead of time...
I had to do them ahead of time because, uh, I wanted to get them all done and ready for you.
And so, if you have to do them a little bit ahead, toss them with, for six quarts, about two tablespoons of lemon juice, and three or four tablespoons of sugar, and just toss them around, and that helps to keep them from darkening, and also put a piece of wet toweling on top.
And so here we have our six quarts of apples, and these are going to be cooked down into a marmalade.
Or down into an apple sauce.
And be sure that you have a heavy pot.
And you don't have to add any water to it at all because the apples have enough moisture by themselves so that if you have a heavy-bottomed pot, and you cook them covered over moderate heat, in about ten to 15 minutes, they'll be soft enough.
And so, shaking them up and down and stirring them, in about ten minutes, they will be soft like this.
And you don't... At that point, you don't have to mash them down, because they're going to have to be cooked a lot longer, but they're soft enough if you mash them against the side of the pan.
And then, this is just like an apple sauce, and we're now going to turn it into a French marmelade or marmalade, with some flavoring in it.
And this is going to have sugar and apricot jam and rum and vanilla.
Now with this apple charlotte, you can do it in the English fashion, and use just sugar and cinnamon and lemon, a grated lemon grind.
But if you're doing it in the French fashion, you use these ingredients.
And we're going to have about half a cup of apricot preserves.
And you have to push it through a sieve, because if you don't push it through a sieve, you have little pieces of apricot peel.
I don't think that there would be any French desserts at all if there were not apricot and marmalade, 'cause it gives...
It has a lovely extra flavor that it's going to give to the apples.
It's sort of that, as usual, that je ne sais quoi.
And push it all through.
Then, we want to have one cup of sugar.
And this will depend very much on your apples.
I find with these particular apples, it needs one cup.
And you may find if you're using tart apples, that you want a little bit more, but after it cooks down a little bit, you can add more.
And then we want a quarter of a cup of rum.
And this is another part of the je ne sais quoi.
And I'm using dark Jamaican rum.
If you're going to use rum in cooking, you should use the dark rum.
Otherwise, you might just as well not use it at all, because it's the dark that has the most flavor.
Then we want two teaspoons of vanilla, so I'm going to put in about two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
And be sure when you're using vanilla, don't use imitation extract.
Use the real vanilla extract.
And then we want three tablespoons of butter.
I've got some melted butter here.
And that makes about three tablespoons.
And then, this has got to cook down for... oh, 30 or 40 minutes.
And if you want to do it fairly fast, you can put it over fairly high heat and stir it around.
If you, um...
The other thing is, you've got to keep stirring it if you're going to cook it fairly fast, because as it begins cooking, you're going to see it.
It's gonna go, "Thoom!
It's gonna look just like a volcano.
And when I was cooking some last night, I was cooking it rather fast 'cause I was in a hurry, and it just went absolutely all over the stove because it just goes, "Thoom!"
up like that.
And my husband put a stick over the stove and hung the cover on right to about here, and then it didn't get all over the stove.
So, this will have to... this will have to cook for... well, until it gets to be a very, very thick marmalade.
And the point of this is that you're gonna mold it in-in strips of bread, and you have to have the... You have to have the marmalade very, very thick, or when you unmold it, the whole thing will collapse, and I will give you an illustration of that later.
This is going to be... What this charlotte is, is this thick marmalade with buttered bread strips all around it, and then it is baked in a mold or a baking dish.
And what you want is a baking dish that is straight-sided and about three and a half inches high.
And this is an American type of ceramic baking dish, which works very nicely, except they haven't designed it for using it to be unmold... unmolded, because, you see, if you turn it upside down, you have these little flanges that are so... so down on the table that it's awfully hard to get it up, 'cause it's slippery when it's hot.
So you have to lift it up that way, and it's... it's difficult, but you can use it.
And this is the French type of a one, which is about... it's a six... both of these are six cups, but it has these little ears on it, so that when you turn it upside down, the ears are set far enough down so that it's very easy to pick up.
So I'm gonna use this charlotte mold.
This you can get sometimes if you look in... the French import shops.
And if you do get one, be sure that you get one that's a fairly heavy metal, which is called tole, T-O-L-E, and it has a tin wash on it.
There are some that are just sort of a light tin that are only... that you can only use for molding... Bavarian creams.
But with this kind of an all-purpose baking dish, if it's heavy metal, you can use it for baking or molding, anything that you would like.
And this six... a six-cup baking dish-- use glass or anything you want, but try and get the sides as high as possible for drama, and get one that's six cups, and that'll serve six to eight people.
I'm gonna stir this up a little bit more.
You see, these pieces of apple, gradually as they cook down, they're gonna soften more.
And now we are going to... while the apples are cooking down-- I'm gonna put them over here on another burner-- we'll line the mold with bread.
And whenever you're using-- we have to have white bread-- and whenever you're using white bread for cooking, you do not want to get this squashy type of bread.
And you can tell it's squashy-- I always squash them all when I go into the market-- if you can... see, you can... your hands meet right through the middle of it.
There's my bare finger.
This bread is no good for cooking at all, so you just shouldn't use it.
But you feel them all, and when you get...
There are two or three brands that are fairly un-squashy, and that's the kind you want for cooking.
If you use the squashy part, it just comes apart during cooking.
And what... Now we have to line the bottom of the mold with bread strips, which are going to be then sautéed in butter.
And we want to have them... want to have the mold lined as clearly-- I mean, as solidly in the bottom as possible.
So cut the crusts off the bread.
And this is called "thin-sliced sandwich bread."
And then... put it in... put the bread into a square, and then put the mold on top.
I'm gonna move this a little closer to me.
And cut around the bottom, 'cause we want to have the bottom of the mold covered.
And cut it very slightly larger than the bottom of the mold, because when you sauté the bread, the... it's going to shrink a little bit.
And we want to have the bottom as well covered as possible, so that when this dessert, this charlotte is cooked, it will unmold properly.
That's formed into a circle.
And now this is going to be sautéed.
And we can also make a little topknot of bread for a final decoration.
Maybe I can get a little... yes, I can just get a little circle of bread out of one of those pieces.
And this should be sautéed in clarified butter.
The clarified butter just means melted butter, and you skim the clear, or clarified, yellow liquid off the top.
We've done these croutons several times before.
And as you'll remember, you always have to have quite a bit of butter in your pan, because the bread soaks it up.
And if you don't have enough butter in, then the bread... burns on the bottom.
Wait till your butter gets fairly warm, and then just put the bread in.
And then stand over it, so... because it cooks fairly quickly, and you don't want it... you don't want it to burn.
And then we're going to have bread strips on the side.
And I'm gonna... cut some of those while I'm keeping my eye on the... on my... sautéed bread.
And these, again, cut the crusts off.
Now, take a... see how that... this should just be very lightly browned.
See, that isn't quite browned enough, so I'm gonna turn it over, anyway.
And turn my heat down just a little bit.
And then, these breads for the side, these are just gonna be cut in half.
You want to be sure that you have bread that's going to be as high as your mold is.
See, that just fits in.
If it's a little bit longer, you can cut it off afterwards.
Now, checking again.
See, that's just brown enough.
And the reason that this is being sautéed is so that the... it will not stick on the bottom of the mold.
Now, I think that we can consider that done.
I'm gonna take it off.
Well, this is going to brown more when it gets into the oven, so be sure that you do not... do not sauté it too brown.
And now, to see whether...
This always shrinks a little bit as you... when you sauté it.
And arrange it again in a circle and see if the edges need a little bit of trimming off.
This one here... And if those meet there... That doesn't look as though that were gonna work well, but we'll see how it fits in the mold.
Yeah, that does.
There's a little bit of space there, but that's quite all right.
And now you have your little topknot, and keep that aside until you have cooked the dessert, and then that goes on at the end.
And now we have to dip the bread strip... dip the bread strips in melted butter.
Well, I guess I can just dip it in in that.
And this, again, should be clarified butter.
And then these strips get... just placed around the edges of your mold.
I can probably dip in two or three at first.
You see what really very simple ingredients this is all gonna be, and it's very much like your brown Betty, except, in typical French fashion, it is... it is decorated up.
You use quite a bit of butter, and that's what gives the good taste, if you... And don't use anything but butter for this... for this dessert, because it just won't taste properly unless you do that.
In other words, you can't substitute ingredients if you want...
Turn that heat off.
You could arrange this with your fingers.
I'm trying to learn to be more... to be more fancy with spoon and fork.
And you'll notice that these breads are slightly overlapping.
In French, this is called chevaucher.
Well, I think I'd do that better with my fingers, but I ought to learn to do it with a knife and fork.
Well, I'll do it this way now, which is really much easier.
I've tried-- thinking that this bread was rather... rather thick-- I've tried thinning it down by cutting it in half, so that it was a thinner slice of bread.
And you will see the result later.
Don't do it.
The bread should be somewhat thick, so that it will...
I mean, not too thick.
This is about a little over a quarter of an inch, probably.
But... if it's too thin, the charlotte will collapse.
And now, this... the mold, you can get... aligned ahead of time, and you can do the marmalade ahead of time.
And I'm gonna show you what it looks like after it's all cooked down.
You see, this here is still... is still soft and liquid, and some of the apples haven't even cooked down.
But as you can see, the puree itself, or the sauce, is very thin.
But... when you've finally done it-- You see, that's cooked way, way down.
This was six or eight cups of apples, and it's cooked down to four cups.
You want about four cups.
And notice, see, when you lift it up, that it holds its shape quite nicely in the spoon and it also, on the-- it holds its shape and plops on top of the sauce.
And this is the whole crux of this apple charlotte, in that you get your apple sauce, or marmalade, very thick and concentrated.
And then be sure and taste it and see if you need any more sugar or anything else.
This is hot.
It's delicious, I must say.
I wouldn't like it as well done in the English way, with just lemon and cinnamon.
I think this rum is just marvelous with it.
You don't even know that it's rum, because all the alcohol is cooked down, of course.
And now you're ready to fill your mold.
And I think it's better not-- to only fill your mold just before you're gonna cook the charlotte, because you might run into sticking problems if you did it ahead of time.
And now what you want to do also is to push the bread against the sides of the mold, because you want to get this mold filled just as full as possible.
And then when you get about a third of the way up, put in a few more strips of bread.
This might be-- You had less apple sauce than you thought.
And, also, the strips of bread in butter give it a more attractive flavor, just because butter is so good.
You see, this approaches the brown Betty very much.
Then, remember, push this bread against the side so that this just gets as full as possible.
But don't break the bread while you're pushing it, if you possibly can help it.
And I'm gonna put in one or two more bread strips in the middle here and then... go on to fill it.
That'll all go in.
And it's very important here that you have the mold so it's, really, slightly filled in a dome up on top.
And you want to end with some bread strips, which act as a base.
And if you find that you haven't filled the mold quite enough, just build up some more bread strips.
But if you have about four to five cups of your apple puree, that should be enough.
But this is to give it a base.
Because if it isn't filled enough, it does cook down a little bit as it gets into the oven.
And then when you try to unmold it, because the bread will be toasty... will be like a toast... ...you unmold it and then, well, you'll see.
That's too complicated to explain.
But you'll see how it works when we come to the unmolding.
Then... you'd think there was enough butter in here, but there isn't.
You want to put a little bit of butter just around the sides.
This is, again, for the unmolding.
So that the bread won't stick and also, again, for flavor.
Now that is now ready for the oven.
And this will go into a 425 degree oven.
And it really-- you see, all-- what you really want to do is just to cook the bread strips on the bottom and around the sides so that they're nice and brown.
And so put it in the lower third of a preheated 425 degree oven and then take some kind of a baking pan and stick it on the rack below to catch butter drippings.
'Cause as it bubbles up, the butter can fall down into the oven.
And this should take 30 to 40 minutes.
I'm gonna-- I will set the timer to 35.
And then you can test and see how it is.
And then, when it's done...
I'll show you how you can tell when it's done.
And this is when you... You push back the strips of toast and you see that they are brown all the way around, sort of a nice, light golden brown.
And then when it's done, you want to let it rest.
And they usually say 15 or 20 minutes, but I've found that it's best to let it rest a good half hour or more, because it really has to settle and cool off so that the apple puree will settle.
And then, just before you unmold it, take a little knife and go all the way around the sides with your knife to be sure that the bread strips haven't attached onto the sides.
And do that a good once or twice just to make sure that you don't have any stickies there.
We're always unmolding, but molding things is very French.
Well, just like taking apples and a loaf of bread.
Now, I hope that's all ready to go.
And then put the dish upside down on it.
Now, here's your very important thing is you get it down on the plate, lift your mold up, and if you see the slightest sign of collapse, put the mold down on again.
And you can see if it begins to bulge.
And then lift it up again.
And if it starts collapsing, just leave the mold where it is and wait.
But as soon as the apple puree has set enough, you'll find that you can un-- that it will unmold nicely.
And if it's cold enough-- see, and it will usually begin to collapse very slightly like this, but hold on to it.
Have to use your fingers in cooking a great deal.
And then you can glaze this with apricot.
This is sieved apricot boiled down with-- This was about half a cup of sieved apricot boiled down with two tablespoons of sugar.
I told you you would see that you usually get a slight collapse, but I like it-- doing this, 'cause I think it has...
I think it... (laughs): What can I say about it?
But I don't-- I wouldn't like it just straight up and down, 'cause I think it would look rigid.
Now, I've got my little topknot here.
And then put an apricot glaze on the topknot.
And there you are.
And that's all ready to eat.
And this is-- an apple charlotte, because of the unmolding problem, was eaten either warm or cold.
And just take a bit of this lovely, buttery toasted bread and leave that on the top, if you can, and then a bit of your marmalade.
And then you can serve it with cream or with some custard sauce.
And if you'd like to serve it with champagne, that would be very nice or a Sauternes or coffee.
And-- now, we've done a number of charlottes here, but the charlotte aux pommes is the oldest one of all.
It dates way back to the end of the 17th century, and it was named, presumably, after Queen Charlotte of England, who was the wife of George III.
But it has a definitely French flavor and is delicious.
So that's all for today on The French Chef.
This is Julia Child.
ANNOUNCER: The French Chef has been made possible by a grant from Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated and a grant from the Polaroid Corporation.
Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH access.wgbh.org ♪ ♪ Julia Child is coauthor of the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪