It’s good to back in France after a gorgeous summer in Southern California. The man and I have been visiting friends on the lovely island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer in Brittany. As I’m sure you know, Brittany is a wild place with a windswept coast and salty air. Historically, the livelihood of Bretons was intricately linked with the sea (actually, it still is) and this is reflected in their local gastronomy .
Seafood is plentiful here and I’ve been seeing people digging for palourdes (a type of clam) in the port of Sauzon during low tide. I’m dying to join them but, since I do not have the requisite rubber boots, I’ve been told this would be a terrible idea. No fun! Instead I’ve been enjoying buckwheat galettes with camembert, salted butter caramel crêpes and washing it down with Breton cider at the local crêperie Les Embruns. Not too shabby.
I needed an excuse to buy a pot of gooey and marvellous caramel beurre salé (salted butter caramel) so I put together a recipe for French toast topped with diced apples cooked in the aforementioned caramel.
To keep things simple I suggest you use your favorite French toast recipe. My go to recipe is Martha Stewart’s Perfect French Toast although I use day-old baguette instead of brioche.
Here’s the recipe for the apple topping:
– 2 apples
– 1-2 tsp salted butter
– 1 1/2 tbsp salted butter caramel (dulce de leche also works)
– A few pinches of cinnamon
Start by peeling and coring the apples, then dice them (not too small).
Warm a pan on low-medium heat and add the salted butter. Toss in the diced apples and the salted butter caramel. Lick the spoon used to scoop the caramel.
Cover and let cook for about 30 min. Make sure that you stir every once in a while and taste. The apples are done when they are cooked through but not mushy.
While you’re waiting for the apples to drown in their salty sea of caramel, prepare the French toast according to the recipe you’re using. Think about your timing before you start cooking the toast.
As soon as you take the French toast off the pan, top each piece with some of the warm apple mixture. Serve with a generous dollop of caramel and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Eat immediately.
I’m not going to lie, the best bit about this recipe is the apple and caramel. I would eat it on its own without the toast or serve it for dessert with some good vanilla ice cream. Any other suggestions?