SERVES 6 TO 8
For this recipe I have borrowed on the idea of the classic molded apple charlotte, which uses trimmed slices of bread, pureed apples, rum, and plenty of butter. But in this version, crunchy slices of apple line the bottom of the mold, nestled in a bed of cinnamon-and-clove-flavored sugar. Instead of lining the sides of the mold with strips of buttered bread, I cover the apple slices with the Simply Sweet Dough and allow it to rise before baking.
Use a seven-by-four-inch charlotte mold or another similar-sized mold, or a deep baking dish, such as a seven-inch soufflé dish. This uses only half of the sweet dough recipe, so the remaining dough may be used for another recipe.
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 recipe Simply Sweet Dough
Sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)
Brush a charlotte mold or other 7 — 4-inch-deep pan with butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the mold and brush it with butter. Set the mold aside.
In a bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves together. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared mold.
Drain the apple slices. Arrange 4 or 5 slices side by side in the center of the mold. Then arrange a circle of apple slices around the outer part of the mold, overlapping them slightly and partially covering the slices in the center. Line the side of the mold with a ring of apple slices, standing them curved side up. You may not need all the apple slices. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a flattened ball just large enough to cover the apples in the bottom of the mold. Do not worry if the dough does not quite touch the apple around the sides of the mold; as it rises, it will. Cover the mold with a clean cloth and let rise for 40 minutes, until the dough has risen three quarters of the way up the mold.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Bake the charlotte for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the charlotte in the mold on a rack for 30 minutes.
Carefully run a table knife around the inside edges of the mold. Invert the charlotte onto a serving plate. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Serve the charlotte warm, cut into wedges, with a dollup of sweetened whipped cream if you wish.
Note: If the charlotte has baked so that there is a high dome on top, slice off some of the top crust with a bread knife before unmolding it so it will rest evenly on the serving dish.
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