My Recipe Box

Baked Apricot French Toast with Crunchy Corn Flake Streusel

RATE IT

Serves 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 126

An overnight soak in apricot-almond custard creates a meltingly soft, creamy interior for this baked French toast dish, while the corn flake crumb topping offers a crisp contrast. This recipe works equally well with peach preserves and nectar. Serve with pure maple syrup.

For the French toast
  • Softened unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat milk
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 1-lb. loaf day-old challah or brioche, cut into 1-inch-thick slices (discard the ends)
For the topping
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups corn flakes, crushed
  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Pinch table salt
The night before

Assemble the French toast
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Whisk the eggs, milk, apricot nectar, almond extract, and salt in a large, wide bowl. Spread a thin layer of apricot preserves on one side of each slice of bread and then dip both sides of each slice in the custard. Arrange the slices jam side up in the baking dish, overlapping slightly if necessary. Pour any remaining custard over the bread and gently press the bread into the custard. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for 4 to 18 hours.

Make the topping
In a large bowl, stir the butter with a silicone spatula until smooth. Add the corn flakes, sugar, cinnamon, almond extract, and salt. Using your fingertips, work the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

In the morning

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Uncover the baking dish and press down gently on the bread to absorb any custard on the bottom of the dish. Scatter the topping over the bread, re-cover with the foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until puffy and golden, another 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 690, Fat (kcal): 30, Fat Calories (g): 270, Saturated Fat (g): 14, Protein (g): 18, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 90, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 970, Cholesterol (g): 275, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was a great New Years brunch recipe. Love that you can do it ahead of time so that the day off all you have to do is bake it off. I could take or leave the apricot part since it didn't necessarily add a lot. So basically if I didn't have the jam or nectar I could still use this base. I used a day old challah bread that really soaked up the custard nicely. This dish is also good reheated in a mini oven. It gets the crumble even crunchier! I will definitely keep this in my brunch repertoire.

This was a great New Years brunch recipe. Love that you can do it ahead of time so that the day off all you have to do is bake it off. I could take or leave the apricot part since it didn't necessarily add a lot. So basically if I didn't have the jam or nectar I could still use this base. I used a day old challah bread that really soaked up the custard nicely. This dish is also good reheated in a mini oven. It gets the crumble even crunchier! I will definitely keep this in my brunch repertoire.

Overall I liked this dish, it was great to prep the night before and cook it for Christmas morning. I found the apricot to be perfect (for our tastes) but I agree with the previous review- we had way to much egg mixture! Which left the meal less french toast-ish.

Dreadful...followed the recipe exactly...apricot flavor very mild and I used good jam and nectar...used whole large loaf and still had too much egg mixture. Baked up as an egg custard and less French toast-ish. The corn flake topping made too much as I had lots leftover even after coating the French toast....overall disappointing.... If I put six eggs into a recipe it had better turn out better than this

Delicious! An easy recipe for the night before prep and it had lovely textures - soft and crunchy along with great flavour. I served on the side greek vanilla yogurt and peach slices. A marriage made in heaven, although it wasn't part of the original recipe. I will most definitely make this again!

Visually attractive and tasty recipe, but my family and I felt the apricot flavor was too mild. It might be the apricot preserve brand (Hero) and apricot nectar brand (Lakeland) I used. I will definitely make again but will add more apricot preserves and some nutmeg and more cinnamon.

Too high in calories & fat for my tastes so I rated it a 3. However, I'd give my modification a 5. I dropped all the butter & used release spray. For the topping, I substituted pre-cooked bacon, crumbled, sprinkled with a little brown sugar. The sweet-smokiness worked well with the apricot. We liked it, including my husband who more or less hates anything " different!"

Fabulous! Easy to make. Looks and tastes exactly as you'd expect. Wonderfully crunchy crust. Definitely part of the weekend breakfast rotation.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More