Apricot Stuffed French Toast
Fresh apricots don’t have a starring role at breakfast nearly as often as they deserve. They taste of sunshine, with a subtle sweetness, and their soft yellow color with just a hint of blush is undeniably cheerful. Apricots don’t need to be peeled, and when ripe, the flesh is easily separated from the tiny seed. Thus, from a chef’s standpoint, apricots are not only good-looking and good-tasting but also very well-behaved.
This dish served at the former Bridgewalk Bed and Breakfast in Central Lake puts apricots front and center. Innkeepers Janet and Tom Meteer get apricots (shown above in a photo by Janet) from nearby King Orchards, along with an abundance of other fruits as each comes into season.
Up to 10 servings
A loaf or two of French bread, depending on its diameter
1 quart fresh apricots, washed
8 oz apricot preserves or jam
1/2 cup fresh orange juice, divided
Cream cheese (1 oz. per portion)
Grated orange rind to taste
Vanilla, one or two generous dashes
3/4 cup half-and-half
Trim the crusty ends of the loaf and reserve for another use. Slice the loaf diagonally, allotting approximately two inches total thickness per portion. Make a parallel slice halfway through each two-inch portion without cutting all the way through. (Slicing diagonally is aesthetically pleasing and allows each portion to be longer than the diameter of the loaf.)
Dice three or four apricots. Mix well: Cream cheese, grated orange rind, and vanilla. Stir in diced apricots.
Spread a generous dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each bread portion.
Slice remaining apricots.
Whisk together: eggs, half-and-half, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice and a dash of vanilla.
Stir together apricot jam and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice. Warm the sauce just prior to serving.
To assemble and serve French toast:
- dip both sides of each portion in egg mixture
- grill on griddle or electric skillet until lightly browned. (Buttering the pan may not be needed.)
- plate the portions, topping each with sliced apricots and drizzling with warmed sauce