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fem. proper name, from the French fem. of Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. Meaning "apple marmalade covered with bread-crumbs" is attested from 1796, presumably from French (where, however, the dessert name is attested only from 1804), possibly from the fem. proper name, but the connection is obscure. Perhaps from some French dialect word. Cf. Middle English charlette (mid-14c.) "dish containing meat, eggs, milk, etc.," said to be probably from Old French char laitÃ©e "meat with milk."
The city in North Carolina, U.S., was settled c.1750 and named for Princess Charlotte Sophia (1744-1818), who married George III of England in 1761; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, also was named for her (1763).
either of two traditional French desserts, both formed in a deep, cylindrical mold. For a fruit charlotte the mold is lined with well-buttered bread, filled with a thick puree of apples, apricots, or other fruit, topped with additional slices of bread, and baked. It is served warm, often with a sauce. For cold charlotte, the mold is lined with ladyfingers (sticks of spongecake) and filled with ice cream, whipped cream, or most commonly, Bavarian cream (q.v.). If the latter is used the dessert is called a charlotte russe, a recipe believed to have been originated by the great chef Antonin Careme