It’s autumn in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, and apples are everywhere… including this French toast, a guest favorite at Birchwood Inn. We prepare most of the dish the night before, finish and bake it in the morning. The heady scent of the apples baking is a most wonderful way to wake up!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 red cooking apples (such as Cortlands)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 loaf challah (egg bread)
The day or night before:
Grease a 9X13-inch glass baking pan.
Cut the apples into slices, leaving the peel on for color.
In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, and corn syrup on medium to medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for a minute or two to caramelize the syrup.
Mix the apples in the syrup to coat.
Pour the apples and syrup into the baking pan.
Slice off a thin layer of the top and sides of the challah and cut into 8 slices.
Place the slices in a single layer over the apples and syrup.
Cover and refrigerate over night.
In the morning:
Remove the baking pan from the refrigerator. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla together.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread slices.
Sprinkle with cinnamon or cinnamon sugar.
Bake the French toast for 50 minutes until the bread is browned and crisp.
With a metal spatula, carefully lift each bread slice and caramel apples and turn onto a plate, with the apple side up. Spoon some of the caramel juice on top.
Ellen Chenaux, Bed and Breakfast Foodie
Bed and Breakfast Foodie