The Ultimate French Toast - Bostock . . .

And this apple-cinnamon version is here for your breakfast . . .

     Bostock is a crunchy, old-fashioned breakfast pastry, the happy offspring of French toast and an almond croissant. It’s rumored to have its roots in Normandy, and our version honors Calvados country with a schmear of apple butter in place of the usual apricot jam and a splash of apple brandy folded into the traditional frangipane cream. A generous layer of toasty almonds balances the squishy apple and almond pastry cream below for a treat that only the French would have the audacity to call “breakfast.”

     Classic bostock usually uses cakey brioche as a base. That’s delicious in its own right, but we prefer a leaner white bread with a bit of chew to support an extra-thick layer of gooey filling. Your favorite sandwich bread or even challah will do the trick.

     The milk bread, cinnamon syrup, and apple butter can all be made well ahead of time (or, in a pinch, purchased) and the bostocks themselves can be completely assembled several days in advance. Raw and tightly wrapped, they keep well for up to three days in the fridge, or for a month in the freezer. If frozen, thaw the bostock completely before baking.


For the frangipane:

1 cup sliced almonds

1⁄2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz.), softened slightly

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. Calvados or spiced rum


For the toasts:

Nonstick spray

6 (1-inch-thick) slices milk bread, brioche, or another good-quality, enriched white bread, lightly toasted

1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. prepared cinnamon syrup

1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. apple butter (homemade or store-bought)

1 1⁄3 cups sliced almonds

Powdered sugar, for serving


Instructions . . .

     Make the frangipane: In a food processor, add 1 cup almonds and the sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the eggs, butter, and salt, and process to a smooth paste. Drizzle in the vanilla and Calvados, pulsing to incorporate..Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

     Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and lightly oil the paper with nonstick spray. Place the toasts on the baking sheet and brush both sides liberally with the cinnamon syrup. Spread each piece on one side with 1 tablespoon of apple butter followed by ¼ cup of the almond paste.

     Place the remaining 1 1⁄3 cups sliced almonds into a shallow dish. Press the prepared toasts into the dish of almonds to coat the frangipane side with almonds. Transfer the toasts almond-side-up, to the baking sheet.

     Bake until the almonds are golden and the frangipane is slightly puffed and set but still soft, 18-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.