Coming soon! GETTING LOST with Erin French
Watch the series premiere Sunday, June 23rd 2ET/1C on Magnolia Network or stream on MAX & Discovery+

Coming soon! GETTING LOST with Erin French
Watch the series premiere Sunday, June 23rd 2ET/1C on Magnolia Network or stream on MAX & Discovery+

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CHERRY & ALMOND

BAKED FRENCH TOAST

recipe from...

My mom would occasionally make what felt like fancy French toast, soaking it overnight in the fridge so it would get rich and custardy as it baked the next morning. It was like starting the day off with dessert, which made an unremarkable Sunday feel like a holiday. This recipe continues to be in my rotation - with the slight update of cherries and almonds - because I only need to throw it into the oven in the morning, and there's nothing more luxurious on the weekend than time.

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dried cherries

8 (1-inch-thick) slices good bread, such as challah, brioche, or crusty sourdough

1 cup apricot jam

Softened unsalted butter, for the pan

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Warm maple syrup, for serving

IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cherries to plump and infuse with flavor. Drain the cherries, discarding the liquid, and set aside.

Cut the slices of bread in half diagonally to create triangular pieces. Slather one side of each piece with the apricot jam and set aside on a platter or tray.

Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the bread in one or two layers (I like using something pretty that can go from oven to table). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the eggs and yolks, almond extract, vanilla extract, orange zest, and salt. Place each piece of bread in the custard mixture, jam side facing up, giving it a moment to soak up some of the custard before transferring it to the baking dish (jam side up), slightly overlapping the slices in the baking dish. Scatter the cherries around and over the bread. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle the slices of bread with the slivered almonds and bake, uncovered, until puffy and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve immediately, with warm maple syrup.