What I’m obsessed with now. (#369) The Apple Charlotte, at Whitehall!

Ryan Butler likes to dig through old recipe books. It was there he got inspired to come up with a more modern version of the classic apple charlotte. This 19 century dessert was traditionally a way to use up left over bread from the day before, and convert it into a dessert the whole family would eat. It’s like a french toast-meets-apple-pudding kind of thing. A simple invention of white bread and apples. A container is lined with day old buttered bread slices, then packed densely with apples and baked. It’s usually served with cream or homemade custard. (Charlotte, could possibly be a riff off the old English word Charlyt which means a ‘bowl of custard’)

Butler takes a modern spin on this old classic by hand-making a coconut chiffon cake from scratch. He dredges that in eggy Royale (akin to a french toast type dip) and then stuffs it with sweet, local, Honeycrisp apples, and bakes it. To serve, he gives you a jug of just enough vanilla bean, star anise and cinnamon custard, to hang yourself, and also a large dollop of salted caramel ice-cream to push you over the edge. This dish is to die for. (Literally.)

You need to run, not walk to this cosy West village haunt where Brian McGrory, and the mainly British/Australian crew will keep you topped up with cocktails, (including the “No. 1”, which tastes like a milky, sweet, cup of tea, complete with almond bikkie on top) and other clever Anglo-derived delicacies. (Also be sure to try chef Chris Rendell‘s ‘Aussie’ burger, which got nominated from Time Out New York’s top 20 contenders as best burger. ) The Honey Crisp Apple Charlotte with cinnamon custard, and salted caramel ice cream at Whitehall serves two. (So bring a friend!)

Ryan Butler kindly agreed to part with his apple charlotte recipe. (See below.) So if you can’t get to New York anytime soon, you can make this amazing dessert at home. Thanks so much Ryan!

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HONEY CRISP APPLE CHARLOTTE FROM WHITEHALL
Recipe courtesy of Pastry Chef Ryan Butler  

Coconut Chiffon
yield (2 half sheet pans) for six charlottes

5 ounces cake flour sifted
3.5 ounces sugar
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2.5 ounces coconut milk
1.2 ounces vegetable oil
3 ounces egg yolks
1 teaspoon water
1 drop vanilla extract
5 ounces egg whites
2.5 ounces sugar
a pinch of cream of tartar
Method combine all ingredients except the second addition of sugar, egg whites and the cream of tartar. In a kitchen aid mixer whip the whites on high speed with the cream of tartar until maximum volume add the sugar mix till shiny fold the meringue into the cake mixture in three parts. Divide the batter between two pans evenly bake in a 350 degree until golden brown
Egg Royale
4 fresh eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
one pinch of salt
Mix till combined.
Honey Crisp Apple Filling
4 honey crisp apples peel and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
3 ounces butter
a pinch of salt
2 tbs of corn starch
Melt the butter add the sugars stir to combine add the lemon juice and the apples cook for ten minutes or until the apples are tender. Cool.
To assemble the apple charlottes prepare six molds with butter and sugar. Cut strips of the cake to line the molds dip each piece in the egg royale line the charlotte molds then fill with the apple filling top with a final piece of cake and bake for ten minutes at 350 or until golden run a knife along the molds to release the charlottes.
Ryan serves his charlottes with his own homemade cinnamon custard and salted caramel ice-cream, you could could serve it with regular store bought ice-cream (a little dulce de leche might be perfect!) and/or a classic english custard. 
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WHITEHALL
19 Greenwich Ave
Between Christopher and W 10th Sts
New York
212-675-7261

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Photo by Moya McAllister

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