Today is Travis' birthday (as I post this, it's Aug 4 in Japan), so for a special birthday breakfast, I decided to make his all time favorite: stuffed french toast. My beloved husband would probably eat stuffed french toast every day of the week if I decided to make it for him. Each time he sees it on a menu in a restaurant, it's automatically the order of the day. Strawberry filling seems to be the usual favorite, however I think I prefer this homemade version with apples. To me, the strawberry filling never tastes right- it seems fake somehow, because it probably isn't lovingly homemade with fresh berries.
The version I made today is more of a french toast sandwich that stuffed french toast, since the local Japanese bread I bought is large and thick, but a little too soft for creating a pocket within each slice. That would have been ideal, of course, so maybe using a sturdier bread like challah would have been a better option. I just used what I could find. I've used this bread in the past for regular french toast and it's insanely superb, so I thought it would do well. It did decently, but like I said, not sturdy enough for a pocket. Without those unitasker tools that press, seal and de-crust sandwiches, I wasn't sure how to seal the edges. The crust of this bread was too delicious to just cut off and throw away, so having more of a sandwich than stuffed bread was fine by me.
Alternatively you could just make regular french toast and serve the filling on top and dust with powdered sugar instead of making the sandwiches. Either way it'll taste good, so do what makes your heart and taste buds happy!
It was absolutely delicious! Easier to make than I would have thought, and I loved how I was able to control how much sugar was in it and how it tasted like a breakfast apple pie. It's definitely a splurge breakfast, since I added cream cheese and apple butter to the insides of the bread too. It tastes fancy enough for Christmas morning, but tasty enough for the rest of the year!
Apple Pie French Toastinspired by several recipes
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cream cheese
8-10 large slices day old bread
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Apple butter and cream cheese to spread
In a small saucepan, cook apples, lemon juice and water over medium heat for 5 minutes, until apples are tender. While they're cooking, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir out any lumps. Add into the sauce pan along with the cream cheese, turn off heat. Stir well to combine, sauce will thicken as it mixes.
Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on half the bread slices, do the same with apple butter on the other slices. Add a few tablespoons of filling mixture onto the cream cheese side of the bread, top with the apple butter slice, making a sandwich.
Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and butter in a shallow dish and whisk well. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and cook on a lightly greased griddle over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
*If you're like me and bake your bacon in the oven, start the bacon at the same time you start the filling on the stovetop. Once the sandwiches are cooked, stow them in the oven to keep them warm, and the baking temperatures will prevent them from becoming soggy. I was able to finish the sandwiches for about 5 minutes in the oven while the bacon completed it's cooking time. Way to multitask your oven!
**If you have bread that is thick and sturdy enough , instead of making a sandwich, slit a pocket into each slice of bread and omit the cream cheese spread, but still add a little apple butter to the inside of the pocket. Add filling and gently spread evenly throughout pocket. Cook as directed above.