I am a huge fan of overnight baked french toast (as is, perhaps, evidenced by the fact I already have a blueberry one on the Hammertown site). And so I am here to tell you, that you can never have too many french toast recipes in your back pocket. Moreover, blueberries are great for summer, but right about now folding a cinnamon-infused apple compote between layers of eggy bread before resting it in the fridge and then baking, sounds pretty perfect. And if you want to double the compote to have on-hand once the french toast is gone, to maybe spread on a slice of crusty bread slathered with salted butter, well, I’m right there with you. I love this recipe because it is of the make-ahead variety, and that is my favorite. It is also likely that you have all of the ingredients in your pantry, save for the bread. And once you’ve purchased the bread, well, you’re basically done. In other words, this recipe also checks the easy and fast. boxes. Win, win, win, peeps, is all I’m saying.
To take a peek at the original blog post for overnight baked french toast with apple compote, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.
For the apple compote:
- 4 apples, I like to use a combination of Granny Smith and Macintosh
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the French toast:
- 1 lb. to 1 1/4 lb. Challah bread (or Brioche)
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
To make the compote:
Peel and core the apples and dice them into 1-inch pieces. No need to be fussy with this, as the apples will break down once cooked.
Melt the butter and sugar together over medium-to-medium high heat, until the butter melts and the mixture bubbles. Add the apples and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the apples are soft, caramelized, and jammy. Off the heat, add the cinnamon. Set aside to cool slightly, or place in the fridge for up to three days.
To assemble the French toast:
Grease a 13x9x2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter and set aside.
Slice the Challah into 1-inch slices and cut those slices in half. Arrange attractively in your prepared pan, layering the bread in three long rows (beginning and ending at the short sides of the pan).
Combine the eggs, yolks, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whisk. Add the sugar and cinnamon and whisk again. Add the milk and cream and whisk a final time. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing the bread down with your fingers, if necessary, to make sure all pieces are submerged.
Using your fingers, or a small knife, evenly distribute the compote between the slices of bread, leaving dollops of it poking out over the entire surface. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350-degrees, sprinkle the Turbinado sugar generously over the French toast (this adds a bit of sparkle and a delightful crunch) and bake for 60 minutes, checking after 50. The bread should be golden brown and the custard fully absorbed and “cooked.” I like to stick a small paring knife into the center of the toast and when the blade comes out more cake-y, than wet, the French toast is done. If it’s breakfast time, serve immediately with confectioner’s sugar lightly dusted on top. And if it’s not, then, with vanilla ice cream and/or lightly sweetened whipped cream. – and, in this instance, sharing is okay (and probably even required).