In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the apples. Season with salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel, 1/2 cup of the apricot jam, and vanilla. Continue to sauté until the apples are golden, about 4 minutes.
Carefully remove the pan from the heat, add the rum, and ignite the flame. Place the pan back over the heat and shake the pan several times until the flame dies out. Continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid as been absorbed and the apples are tender. Remove from the heat and cool.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 6 cup charlotte mold with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Line the sides and bottom of the mold with parchment paper. Brush both sides of the bread with remaining 1/2 cup of clarified butter. Form a square using 4 pieces of the bread. Place the charlotte mold, topside down, and with a serrated knife, cut around the mold to make a circle for the bottom of the mold, reserving the trimmings. Repeat the above process for the top of the mold.
Slice the remaining bread in half.
To assemble, place 1 circle of the bread on the bottom of the prepared mold. Line the sides of the mold with the slices of bread, pressing the bread slightly to adhere to the sides of the mold. Spoon a third of the apple mixture into the bottom of the mold. Place some the bread scraps over the apple mixture. Repeat with remaining ingredients, having the apples as the last layer. With the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the mold. Place the remaining circle of bread on top of the apple mixture and again press the top firmly.
Place the mold on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a small piece of alluminum foil over the top of the mold to prevent the top from over browning. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sides of mold are golden brown. Remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking. Several times during the cooking process, use the back of a spoon to press the mixture firmly.
Remove from the oven and rest for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and unmold onto a platter.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the remaining apricot jam. Brush the entire mold with the apricot glaze.
Slice the charlotte into individual servings. Place each piece on a serving plate. Garnish with a dollop of the whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar, and fresh mint.
Yield: 8 servings