Baked French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote recipe.
Baked French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Overnight soak
8 hrs
Total Time
35 mins
 
It is easy to enjoy a special breakfast when half the work is done the night before. In fact, all parts of the recipe are easily made in advance. The hearty bread soaks overnight in a nutmeg flavored cream, then baked in the oven the following morning. Top off the French Toast with apple cranberry compote for a sweet and tangy breakfast. Baking the French toast creates French toast with crispy edges and a soft middle, plus all the slices are done at the same time. 

I deliberately used less sugar in the fruit compote and custard, because every baked French toast breakfast I’ve eaten is cloyingly sweet. I like the tartness of the cranberries to counter the sweet apples. Add more sugar, either in the egg custard or fruit compote to your taste, but please use restraint. Or, pass some maple syrup around with the french toast and apple cranberry compote if you prefer the compote with a more syrupy consistency and sweeter.

This recipe is inspired by and adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, December 2001, Eggnog French Toast with Cranberry Apple Compote.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cranberry Compote, Baked French Toast
Servings: 8 people
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
French Toast
  • 1 ¾ - 1 lb. (350 - 450 g) loaf of Country White Boule
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) half and half
  • 2 cup (500 ml) whole milk
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 TB (24 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 TB (56 g) melted butter divided for the baking pan and top of French toast during baking
Apple Cranberry Compote
  • 2 cups (500 ml) apple cider
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 1/4-inch (.5 cm) slices of fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) real maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice
  • 6 TB (74 g) butter divided
  • 3 apples cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh cranberries
  • 2 TB (24 g) sugar
Instructions
Prepare the French Toast
  1. Cut the boule in half across the equator, then cut each half in 1-inch (2.5 cm) slices. Arrange the bread slices on their sides, equally divided between two buttered 9 x 13 xx 2 inches (23 x 33 x 5 cm) baking dishes. Set aside.

  2. In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or wire whisk until blended. Add the milk, half and half, vanilla, nutmeg, and sugar and whisk until combined.
  3. Pour half of the egg-milk mixture into one baking dish with the bread slices, then pour the remaining in the second baking dish. Cover each dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake the French Toast
  1. Preheat the oven at 450°F (230°C / Gas Mark 8) with rack in the middle position.
  2. Melt the butter then use half of the melted butter to baste a rimmed sheet pan, large enough to hold all the slices of french toast. Arrange the bread slices, on their sides, on the sheet pan. A thin flexible spatula is the best tool or an offset spatula. Baste the remaining melted butter to on the top of each slice.

  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the bread slices over then continue to bake 10 minutes more, or until each slice is golden brown with crispy edges and soft in the middle.

  4. Serve the baked French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote
Apple Cranberry Compote
  1. Make the apple cider reduction
  2. Add the apple cider, cinnamon stick, slices of ginger, maple syrup, and orange juice to a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring the cider to a boil then turn down the heat slightly to keep a brisk boil. Cook until the cider reduces to 1 cup, (250 ml), about 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and ginger slices. Whisk in 2 TB of butter.

  3. Meanwhile, melt 4 TB of the butter in a large pot like a Dutch Oven. Add the apple pieces and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cranberries and sugar, stir then cook until the cranberries pop and the fruit begins to soften but maintains their shape.
  4. Add the apple cider reduction to the apples and cranberries, stir and cook at a simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. The compote can be made up to two days in advance, stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until ready to serve. Heat up on the stove, then serve.
  6. Serve with the Baked French Toast.