Weekends are made better with a homemade breakfast, and this brioche brunch treat doesn’t disappoint. Chef William Kovel of Catalyst offers up a comforting and classic French toast with a burst of bourbon bite. It’s the perfect chance to use some of those apples you have on hand (hello, fall apple-picking!). Serve with a warm cup of coffee for a truly indulgent morning. If you’d rather head out for brunch, check out Catalyst’s revamped brunch menu.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 thick slices of brioche
- Extra butter for cooking
- 2 apples
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Whisk the milk, cream, egg yolks, vanilla extract and spices together, and pour into a shallow roasting pan or tupperware (any container big enough to comfortably hold the sliced bread).
- Add the sliced brioche, and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes — just enough time for the custard to soak through the brioche without falling apart.
- Peel the apples, and cut into 8 even slices.
- Add the butter and sugar with a splash of cold water into a sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes together, looks creamy and the edges are beginning to turn golden brown.
- Add the vanilla extract and bourbon, letting the alcohol cook off for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the apples and cook until softened (about 4-5 minutes). Finish with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add a generous nub of butter. (Chef's note: you'll know that the pan is hot enough if the butter starts to melt and become foamy almost immediately. If the butter starts to brown, the pan is too hot).
- Gently add the bread to the foamy butter and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Then flip. Repeat until both sides are nicely browned. Remove from pan.
- Place the French toast on a plate and top with the apples and remaining caramel sauce. Voila!