Happy Mornings

Breakfast Apples with French Toast Crust

For me Winter means warming brunches especially when it has been oh so dreary as it has been this week in DC. I’m constantly on the hunt for delicious and interesting brunch dishes to have friends over to tr. Recently, this bad boy caught my eye.

It might look unassuming, but there is tons of flavor packed into that little slice. With French toast on the bottom, warm, soft apples in the center and topped with a delicious caramel glaze. There are also little dried cranberry and walnut gems throughout the whole deal. It’s not so hard to make though. Let’s get into it.

Baked Breakfast Apples with French Toast Crust

Just a moment please...

Yield
8
Prep Time
Total Time

A delicious baked apple dish with a crunchy french toast crust!

Ingredients

French Toast

3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 of a loaf of Challah bread

Filling

1/2 stick unsalted butter (I used salted. So sue me.)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into eighths.
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Directions

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all of your wet ingredients for the French toast in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon and salt and mix really well.

2) Peel apples, cut out the core, and slice into eighths much like an apple pie. Sprinkle apples with dash of lemon juice and tossing the apples in it. It will prevent browning and it doesn’t noticeably change the flavor in the end result.

3) Add butter and sugar to cast iron skillet and let it start to simmer on medium. Watch this closely. You don’t want the caramel to burn. It will start to bubble and then stir it for a few minutes and let it thicken and brown a bit.

4) Once all the sugar is well dissolved and it is browning, take it off the heat and sprinkle on your cranberries, walnuts, and cinnamon.

5) Then take all your apples that are sliced and arrange them decoratively in the pan. The important part is to have a flat surface to lay your French toast crust.

6) Then take whatever bread you are using and dunk it in the French toast mixture. Let it soak up a good amount of juice on both sides.

7) Layer bread on apples with slightly overlapping edges.

8) Bake dish for 55 to 60 minutes at 350. You want your toast browned and crispy and your apples soft.

9) Remove dish and let cool slightly. Then carefully flip pan over onto a clean cutting board, baking sheet, or large plate.

10) Slice this with a knife or pizza cutter and serve it up like pie. The caramel sauce almost acts as a syrup and the apples provide a bit of tang.

Adapted from Florence's Stirring the Pot.

Preheat your oven to 350 and then combine all of your wet ingredients for the French toast in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon and salt and mix really well.

French Toast is easy stuff.

French Toast is easy stuff.

Next prep your apples. Peel them, cut out the core, and slice into eighths much like an apple pie. If you have an apple corer more power to ya.

6 apples is enough for a breakfast pie.

6 apples is enough for a breakfast pie.

We aren’t going to use them just yet. To prevent the dreaded apple browning, I recommend adding a dash of lemon juice and tossing the apples in it. It will prevent browning and it doesn’t noticeably change the flavor in the end result.

Keep your apples fresh man.

Keep your apples fresh man.

Now it is time to bust out your cast iron skillet or similar oven safe pan. The cast iron skillet was made for this dish. I’m not really sure how you would make it without something you could transfer from stovetop to oven, but you might be more creative than me.

Assuming you do have a pan that can go from stovetop to oven, throw in your butter and sugar and let it start to simmer on medium. Watch this closely. You don’t want the caramel to burn. It will start to bubble and then stir it for a few minutes and let it thicken and brown a bit.

Making caramel.

Making caramel.

Once all the sugar is well dissolved and it is browning, take it off the heat and sprinkle on your cranberries, walnuts, and cinnamon. I was very worried about this recipe at this point. My fear was that when I put this in the oven, the caramel would burn. Turns out I’m just a worrier. There was no problem at all.

I was worried about this recipe at this point.

I was worried about this recipe at this point.

Then take all your apples that are sliced and arrange them decoratively in the pan. The important part is to have a flat surface to lay your French toast crust. This configuration worked great.

This is almost too pretty for my liking.

This is almost too pretty for my liking.

Then take whatever bread you are using and dunk it in the French toast mixture. Let it soak up a good amount of juice on both sides.

Make sure your bread is soaked.

Make sure your bread is soaked.

Again, decoratively layer those bad boys on top of your apples. You want to make sure there are not any holes. Other than that it doesn’t matter what configuration you use. This layer method worked great for me though. One in the direct middle and then overlapping pieces around the edge.

I started to feel good at this point.

I started to feel good at this point.

This whole dish goes in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes at 350. You want your toast browned and crispy and your apples soft. If I make this again (I probably will), I would cook it for a bit less time. I went for 60 minutes and the apples were a bit too soggy. Still delicious but I would go for 50-55 minutes next time.

Your call though depending on how soft you like your apples and how crispy you like your toast.

Looks like bent toast.

Looks like bent toast.

The moment of truth. You have to flip this whole dish upside down. I was scared to death of this part. I didn’t think that caramel sauce would come out and everything would just be stuck to the inside of the pan. This did not happen. All of the butter in the bottom let it slide right out.

I put a baking sheet over the top of the dish, put a hand on each side of the pot. So each hand was holding the baking sheet firmly onto the pan. Then take a deep breath and FLIP.

I let mine sit for 10 seconds while I caught my breath. Then lifted off the pan to find:

Flipping this thing scared me.

Flipping this thing scared me.

Looks perfect! Slice this with a knife or pizza cutter and serve it up like pie. The caramel sauce almost acts as a syrup and the apples provide a bit of tang. Pretty delicious if you have the time to make it.

5 comments on “Breakfast Apples with French Toast Crust

  1. I just read somewhere that this woman who was a caterer revealed her secret, like why everything she made was so delicious, and it was all about Ina Garten. This recipe looks beyond amazing. I am always a sucker for a sweet breakfast/brunch!

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