Almond-Crusted French Toast
Serve a restaurant-style brunch at home with brioche French toast, caramelized apples, and nutty frangipane from chef Alain Allegretti.
For the Frangipane
- 1 cup almond paste
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
For the Apples
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
For the French Toast
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (1-pound) brioche Pullman loaf, crust removed, cut into 12 (1-inch cubes) or 4 (1-inch-thick) slices
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Make the frangipane: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together almond paste, butter, eggs, flour, and lemon zest until smooth. (Frangipane can be made 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, until ready to use. Let soften at room temperature before using.)
Make the apples: Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove apples from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Return apples to skillet and add maple syrup; cook until apples are soft. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. In a large, shallow dish, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, almond extract, and cinnamon. Working in batches, dip brioche in egg mixture to coat. Transfer to skillet and cook, turning, until golden brown on each side, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bread and egg mixture. Let French toast cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Lightly spread frangipane evenly over one side of each piece of French toast; transfer to broiler and broil until golden, about 30 seconds. Divide French toast evenly among four serving plates and top with apples and toasted almonds; serve immediately with additional maple syrup.