“Breakfast! My favorite meal- and you can be so creative. I think of bowls of sparkling berries and fresh cream, baskets of Popovers and freshly squeezed orange juice, thick country bacon, hot maple syrup, pancakes and French toast – even the nutty flavor of Irish oatmeal with brown sugar and cream. Breakfast is the place I splurge with calories, then I spend the rest of the day getting them off! I love to use my prettiest table settings – crocheted placemats with lace-edged napkins and old hammered silver. And whether you are inside in front of a fire, candles burning brightly on a wintery day – or outside on a patio enjoying the morning sun – whether you are having a group of friends and family, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace of the whole day.” ~Susan Branch
Baked French Toast with Apples, Cherries and Pecans
This year my birthday, September 8th, fell on a Sunday. I love
Sundays because they are days full of relaxation, shared time with family and of course a fabulous breakfast. As Susan Branch’s quote states, breakfast can set the mood for the whole day; and today’s breakfast was sweet, full of flavor and visually pleasing.
My day mirrored these sensations with a sweet satisfying breakfast shared with my husband, daughter and son-in-law. After breakfast, we went to an “Old Fashioned Sunday” event at a very pleasant historic home site where there was music, crafts, sheep shearing, quilting and basket making demonstrations. To end this glorious, brisk, sunny fall like day, we ate dinner at the fabulous Lake Ridge Restaurant. As the four of us finished our flavorful meals, we commented how much we love this venue. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
So that you can create the Sunday morning of your dreams, I wanted to share Tyler Florence’s twist on a classic breakfast dish.
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a flat dish, crack the eggs and add the milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined, then soak the challah slices until all the mixture is absorbed.
Heat a 10” skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and caramelizes, about 8 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. NOTE: Use caution when adding the cream as the mixture will bubble vigorously and the sugar is extremely hot. Sprinkle in the pecans and the dried cherries. NOTE: The original recipe calls for dried cranberries.
Peel the apples. Slice in half and remove the cores. Place the apple halves into the sugar mixture flat side up.
Lay the soaked challah on top of the apples to completely cover them. Sprinkle the tops of the bread with some additional brown sugar.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the bread is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven.
Allow the dish to rest for 2-3 minutes. Invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Slice and serve.
The recipe for this French Toast can be found on the Food Network.