Three weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary at one of our favorite French Restaurants in Albuquerque, Brasserie La Province. We usually never get desert, but my husband is a real fan of flan, the Mexican custard, and wanted to try the Créme Brûlée since he never tried it before and it Is our anniversary, you know. He got plain vanilla and mine was bourbon flavored. They both will go on my list of all time incredible deserts. So, I went home and looked up a few Créme Brûlée recipes on the internet and the next day I gave it the good old collage try. I use fresh eggs that I get from my next door neighbor, so mine was even better. I couldn’t believe how easy it is to make.
I wanted to incorporate my new discovery into our breakfast menu, but it didn’t seem right to serve it for breakfast. I then figured maybe I could use this recipe as a base for french toast and – voila! – it worked like a charm. I doubled the size of my original recipe , added nutmeg, cinnamon and some apple. This is so easy and tastes so rich and elegant. It Will be a hit for breakfast , brunch, or my kids favorite variation - “dinner for breakfast” Here’s how it goes…
Créme Brûlée-ish French Toast
Prep is about 30 min
Bake 1 hour @ 325º
9×13 baking dish – mine is deeper than usual and stoneware instead of pyrex, but I have used Corning Ware for a smaller version and it works just fine! Don’t use a metal pan.
I prep this in the evening, put it in the fridge over night, and let it set for at least 30 minutes at room temp in the morning before baking.
14-16 eggs, depending on size
2/3 cup white sugar
4 cups heavy cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 cup white sugar set aside for sprinkling in middle and top
1 firm apple peeled, cored and sliced thin
one nice long baguette with a non-crispy crust, sliced about 1/2″ thick
some soft, room temperature butter
- In a large bowl, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Add cream and vanilla and beat until mixed well.
- Butter one side of the bread slices and place them butter side down in the baking dish until bottom if pan is covered. It is ok to pack them in tight.
- Lay all the apple slices on top of the bread.
- Pour in half of the egg/cream mixture soaking the tops of the bread, and then sprinkle liberally with sugar and cinnamon.
- Arrange a second layer of bread slices and pour the rest of the egg mixture soaking the bread again.
- Sprinkle the top generously with sugar, and then a bit more cinnamon, then nutmeg.
- Cover and refrigerate.
Remove from fridge in the morning at least 30 minutes before baking for 45 minutes to an hour at 325º. It should dome up and turn golden on top. Mmmm. I don’t even need to put maple syrup on this, but you can if you like.
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