The Ultimate French Toast . . .

Apple-Cinnamon Bostock  . . .

Serves 6 people


1 hour 25 minutes


        Bostock is a sweet and crunchy breakfast pastry with roots in Normandy. Our version honors Calvados country with a schmear of apple butter and a splash of apple brandy added to the traditional frangipane cream. A generous layer of toasty almonds balances the soft and squishy filling below.

        Bostock can be completely assembled in advance. Raw and tightly wrapped, they keep well for up to 3 days in the fridge or for a month, in the freezer. Be sure to thaw the frozen bostock completely before baking.



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


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



Step 1:  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.


Step 2:  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.


Step 3:  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.


Step 4:  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.



Bouchon Apple Butter . . .

- makes about 3 cups

- 3 hours 30 minutes


        To make his apple pie, Scott Wheatfill, the pastry chef at Las Vegas' Bouchon restaurant, uses a pure apple butter made with only the fruit and a splash of cider. Slow-roasting the apples concentrates their sweetness and cooks off excess moisture, creating a sauce that is thick enough to stick to a spoon when it's held upside down.



18 semisweet apples, such as Fuji, peeled, quartered, and seeded

6 tbsp. unsweetened apple cider



Step 1:  Heat oven to 375°. Spread apples in a single layer on greased baking sheets; bake, stirring and rotating baking sheets occasionally, until apples are dark and caramelized, about 3 hours. Let apples cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add apple cider, and purée, scraping down sides as needed, until mixture is completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 month.