Autumn is here. After today, the amount of daylight starts getting shorter. Which means that it will soon be time to dig out the sweaters, pull out the (hot) soup recipes, and grab the rake. It truly is my favorite season for so many reasons–apple cider, taking a hike to check out the leaves, pumpkins, watching the chipmunks scurry across the deck to collect every acorn as it falls from the sky, and all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that have arrived at the market.
But today I wasn’t really sure what season it was. It was cool when I woke up, then kind of muggy in the afternoon. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, but a tomato sandwich for lunch. (After reading Sassy Radish’s recent post, I figured I’d better get in one last tomato sandwich as a goodbye to summer.) When I was little I used to think that the summer season officially ended when school started, like somehow the weather would just switch overnight into autumn. I was always a little confused when I would be getting dressed for school and it was too hot for my cardigans and corduroys.
So what do you do when the calendar says “autumn” but the weather isn’t so sure? I say, make apple french toast. There are so many beautiful apples right now–especially Ginger Golds (which I used in this recipe). They have such a short availability, so get your hands on some now. Even if it gets kind of weirdly warm in the middle of the day it is still usually cool in the morning, so this would make a great addition to a weekend brunch. Or, enjoy the cool time of the evening and have breakfast for dinner. It’s a tradition that my family loves, if for no other reason than it means they get more bacon and maple syrup.
- 1 loaf white bread (with a nice crusty exterior)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, divided
- 4 Ginger Gold apples (see Notes)
- 4 Tablespoons butter (plus extra for serving)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons water
- confectioner’s sugar (for serving)
- Cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a deep pie plate whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Set aside.
- Peel & core the apples. Cut into small chunks. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet. Add the apple chunks and remaining 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook until apples are slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes (don’t stir too much!).
- While the apples are caramelizing, heat another skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Dip a slice of bread into the egg mixture and use a fork (or your fingers) to flip it over. Squish the bread into the egg mixture so that it gets a little bit soggy. Put the bread on the hot skillet and cook until it is nicely browned on both sides. Place the french toast on a wire rack while you repeat the process with the remaining slices of bread. (Note: Don’t forget about the apples! You’ll probably need to move on to Step 4 to finish the apple topping while you continue to cook the french toast.)
- Add the water and granulated sugar to the apples and stir to coat. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the fruit is tender but not mushy.
- Serve the french toast topped with a nice pat of butter, a scoop of the apple topping, and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.