Apple Fritter French Toast
All the fun of apple fritters but for breakfast and without the fry!
This is such a fun and easy recipe. It's just the thing to do with stale bread, especially if bread budding and/or stuffing are not on your list, though the recipe works just as well with fresh bread. The best part is the fritter-like texture that results thanks to the cubed bread and diced apples. This breakfast treat is a cross between French toast and a pancake, thanks in part to the recipe's central technique being somewhat like how matzo brei is prepared. Prep all of the ingredients the night before, if you like, and toss it together when you're ready to cook and eat it!
Equipment: cutting board; bread knife; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; large mixing bowl; whisk or fork; shallow bowl; spoon; large nonstick sauté pan; offset spatula
1 loaf brioche or braided challah, cut in ½-inch cubes
2 small (or 1 large) apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
½ cup half & half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup cinnamon-sugar (or ½ cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons cinnamon)
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half & half, vanilla, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Place the cinnamon-sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the cubed bread, diced apples, and egg mixture, mixing well so that each cube of bread is soaked with egg.
3. Place a tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, use a ½-cup dry measuring cup to place scoops of the fritter mixture into the pan without crowding the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bottom of the bread is golden brown. Repeat this process until all the slices are cooked, probably in 3-4 batches.
4. As each French toast fritter comes out of the pan, place it in the shallow bowl filled with cinnamon-sugar. Spoon the cinnamon-sugar generously over the top of the fritter and transfer to a platter or plate. Repeat with each fritter.
5. Serve immediately topped with any errant apples coated in cinnamon-sugar.
ILOC tip: no maple syrup is needed for this French toast thanks to the generous coating of cinnamon-sugar, which melts and caramelizes from the heat of the fritters. Should any apples come loose during the cooking or coating processes, be sure to coat those apple pieces in cinnamon-sugar and top the fritters with them right before service.
Makes 4-6 servings.