My great-grandmother and great-grandfather used to have a saying: “Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner.” As a child, all I knew was they tucked into big slices of coconut cake, apple pie, or berry cobbler for breakfast. They were hard-working people, and burned off every calorie they ate taking care of their massive garden, canning fruits and vegetables in the heat of the summer, and chopping wood to stoke the fire for the wood-burning stove in their kitchen where they cooked all their meals. On the mornings when you wake up feeling particularly royal, give this apple pie–inspired stuffed French toast a whirl—you won’t be disappointed.
"Sticky, Chewy, Messy Gooey Treats for Kids" by Jill O'Conner (Chronicle); copyright 2009. Photographs by Leigh Beisch
|8 slices slightly stale buttermilk bread or potato bread||1 tablespoon granulated sugar|
|Apple Pie Compote (see link to recipe below), at room temperature||4 tablespoons unsalted butter|
|2 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed into coarse crumbs||4 tablespoons vegetable oil|
|1 cup half-and-half||Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling|
|1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract||4 eggs|
Lay 4 slices of the bread on a flat work surface. Top each slice with at least 1/4 cup of the Apple Pie Compote, spreading it evenly. Top with the remaining slices of bread to form 4 sandwiches.
Place the cereal crumbs on a flat dinner plate. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and sugar until very smooth. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, turning it over to make sure it is well-soaked and completely coated. Dredge both sides of each sandwich completely in the cereal crumbs. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet or frying pan, until the butter melts and starts to sizzle. Cook, 2 sandwiches at a time, until they are slightly puffed and crisp and golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and heat together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. Cook the remaining 2 sandwiches until crisp and golden brown.
Remove the sandwiches from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal to expose the apple filling. Stack two halves onto an individual serving plate and sprinkle liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and serve immediately.
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