Recipe: Caramel Apple French Toast
- Caramel Sauce:
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 1 2/3 cups (400 g) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) salted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (or to taste)
- French Toast:
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, or to your taste
- Dash of nutmeg
- 4 slices thick-sliced gourmet bread, or bread of your choice
- unsalted butter, to grease pan
- 1/2 Pink Lady apple, thinly sliced, peeled if you like
- 1-2 tablespoons caramel sauce , plus extra to serve
- Caramel Sauce:
- Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal Dutch oven or casserole, at least 6 quarts (6 L). Set over moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy.
- Using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, begin gently stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center and delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going; it will melt completely as it turns amber.
- Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown and starts to smoke. (Don’t worry about any large chunks of caramel.) The darker you can cook the sugar without burning it, the better the final sauce will taste. It’s ready when it’s the colour of a well-worn centime, or penny, and will smell a bit smoky.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in about a quarter of the cream. The mixture will bubble up furiously, so you may wish to wear an oven mitt over your stirring hand. Continued to whisk in the cream, stirring as you go to make sure it’s smooth. Stir in the butter and salt. Serve warm. If you like your sauce a bit thinner or less rich, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) water.
- Storage: The sauce can be made up to one month in advance and kept refrigerated. Rewarm the caramel in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.
- French Toast:
- Prepare egg mixture for the French toast by placing eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over low-medium heat. Add about 1-2 teaspoons (just eyeball it) unsalted butter and let it melt. Add sliced apples and 1 tablespoon of the caramel sauce. Stir to melt caramel sauce and coat the apples. Cook the apples until tenter and a little bit transparent. Add 1 teaspoon or more of caramel sauce if the apples are looking dry. When done, remove from the pan and set aside (keep warm, if possible).
- Do not clean the frying pan after cooking the apples – the cooked-on caramel will give a great flavor to at least your first batch of French toast. Keep the pan on the heat and increase the heat a little bit. Add 1-2 teaspoons (again, just eyeball it) of unsalted butter to the pan and let it melt. Coat a slice of bread on both sides in the egg mixture, then place into the frying pan. Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip the bread over and cook the other side until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the bread, adding more butter before you add more bread to the pan. You can cook two slices at a time or more, if your pan is big enough. Set aside the cooked slices and keep warm while you cook the rest of the bread.
- I like to add more cinnamon and nutmeg to my egg mixture after coating each slice of bread just to make sure the next slice has the same amount of spice!
- To serve, arrange French toast on a plate. Place caramel apples on top of the toast, then drizzle the whole pile with caramel sauce (not too much though, so it won’t be too rich!). You may need to heat the caramel sauce in the microwave to make it pourable, if it’s been in the refrigerator.
Recipe and Photo: jamieanne on flickr / CC BY-ND