I love breakfast. I can’t help it–I wake up starving. Some people don’t eat much in the morning; my stomach, on the other hand, often wakes me up before my alarm demanding food. Yesterday morning, Shane and I woke up to a lovely snowstorm (and I say that without any irony at all. I. love. snow.). As the flakes flew by our window, I popped a pan of cinnamon apple baked French toast in the oven that I prepped the night before and snuggled back under the covers while it baked. The warm, cozy aroma of caramelizing apples soon filled the apartment and reminded me why I love cold weather months.
Mornings were made for this recipe. Warm, gooey, sweet, and wholesome, it is made with a shockingly short list of ingredients. As a bonus, it is also free of refined sugars and oils. Below is the recipe I adapted from the Minimalist Baker. I used a whole wheat French loaf and two Fuji apples because that’s what I had on hand. Almost any kind of bread/apples will work! Have fun and enjoy your morning (no matter how much grad homework awaits)!
What You’ll Need:
9×13 inch glass pan
Enough Earth Balance (or butter) to coat the pan
1 loaf French bread, torn or cubed into bite-sized chunks
2 apples, diced
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
A few shakes cardamom and nutmeg (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
A Tablespoon or two of Sucanat for sprinkling (optional)
- Tear up bread directly into the baking pan and press down gently.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over the bread as evenly as you can. Get in there with your hands and mix it up so all the bread is moist. If some pieces look a little dry, I usually just add a little more milk to the pan.
- Add the diced apples and walnuts, saving a few of each for later. Mix them in well with the bread and egg mixture.
- Lay the remaining apples and walnuts on top and sprinkle with Sucanat (optional).
- Cover with aluminum foil and let sit overnight in your refrigerator.
- Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Uncover the pan and bake on a center rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Crawl back into bed and dream of baked apples frolicking in a field of cinnamon and maple trees.
Wake up to a dream come true! Remove from the oven and serve immediately with pure maple syrup. You’ll know when it’s done because the bread and apples will be golden brown and the egg mixture will no longer be wet. When in doubt, jiggle the pan back and forth. If the mixture wobbles, it needs more time.
A cup of organic Ethiopian Peace Coffee, snowflakes, and a good book
This week I’m reading The Monogram Murders, A BRAND NEW mystery by Sophie Hannah featuring Agatha Christie’s beloved detective Hercule Poirot. I love Poirot mysteries, and this new story is fully backed by the Christie family. I’m so excited! It is the perfect snowy day read, and I’d like to think Hercule Poirot would be delighted with Baked French Toast.
What’s your favorite cold weather treat?