Breakfast or Dessert?
June 23, 2008
I’m pretty sure this recipe might be on the list of the seven deadly sins. But in this case if it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Really, it could be more of a dessert with all it’s brown sugary yumminess, but I decided to make this for breakfast today. From the minute I saw Tyler Florence make this on his show, Tyler’s Ultimate, I knew I wanted to try it. I mean, what could be bad about french toast, apples, and a brown sugary glaze. This recipe is a little time consuming as far as prep goes, but the results are totally worth it. As soon as it started baking, my house filled with the smell of apple pie and caramel apples. I wish I could capture that smell in a candle so I could enjoy it every day without all the calories that come with it. This would be a great recipe for brunch or even breakfast on Christmas morning. The original recipe calls for cranberries, but I left those out because my picky husband doesn’t like them. I think those would be a great addition though.
Upside-Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries and Pecans
(with my alterations in italics)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices (I used french bread)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I omitted)
Confectioners’ sugar, garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.
Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream. Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press in the apple halves so there is a flat surface. Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered – you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.
When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.
Chef’s Note: FYI – if your cast iron skillet is not seasoned, the cranberries will react with the skillet and turn black.
*I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I used a pie dish to bake this in. I melted the butter and sugar in a pot on the stove and then poured it into the pie dish before assembling.
Source: Food Network