Sometimes the best thing for dinner is…… breakfast. I love breakfasty kinds of foods. That’s probably because there is that weird rule that you can have sugared-up bread with caffeine…. and call it a meal. Think about it: pancakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, and of course the delectable french toast.
The only challenge with French Toast is that when you’re making it for your family, everyone has to eat a different time, since you can only cook a few thin slices at a time. And, you’re stuck standing at the stove while they’re enjoying their meal. Until now. I’ve been making this type of recipe for about 10 years. It’s so simple, and I love it because it’s a hot meal your whole family can eat together :)
I think fruit is synonymous with a good weekend breakfast, and this one incorporates Granny Smith apples. I adore this tart green variety because they sweeten as they cook, and their pieces always stay whole. This is why they’re the only apple I use for pie. Speaking of pie, that’s what inspired this recipe – Apple Pie! Wait till you taste the cinnamon, butter, and maple!
By the way, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know I try to eat less gluten, but there are certain times when it’s all I want. This is one of those times.
Baked Apple French Toast
One 16 ounce loaf of bread, cut into six slices +2 little end pieces
3 tablespoons butter
2 Granny Smith apples, diced
2 Tablespoons cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk (+ more if needed)
¼-½ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
crispy bacon, crumbled (optional)
Real maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375°.
Meanwhile, in a large wide bowl, whisk together eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Add milk and whisk really, really well. If mixture seems to thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it’s thin enough.
Cover a large cookie sheet with foil and lightly butter it with a paper towel. Put one slice of bread in egg mixture and slightly push it down. Basically, you are letting it soak up the liquid like a sponge. Flip it over, and do the same. Gently shake out any remaining liquid, and place bread slice on pan. Repeat until all bread slices are completed. If you have any extra liquid left, do the same to the two little bread ends that you cut off.
Place pan of soaked bread into the oven. Cook approximately 7-10 minutes till toast is golden on top. Flip slices over, and cook another 5-10 minutes or until toast is golden brown on the second side.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on the cooking apples, stirring now and then, and once apples are golden, add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg into the pan. Add arrowroot and stir well. Continue to stir and cook on low till apples are soft enough to eat and cinnamon glaze is thickened.
Once French toast is completely cooked, cut each slice in half, and place 2 to 3 half-slices on a plate*. Top with Apple-Cinnamon topping, and sprinkle bacon on top of that. Finish with the drizzle of real maple syrup.
*If you have any leftovers… store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. You’ll have a deliciously easy breakfast the next morning, since all you have to do is pop the toast into your toaster (if it has wide slots) or the toaster oven. Simple!
And while we’re in the breakfast mood…. I think I found my sous chef ;-)