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January 13, 2020 | Recipes

Fried French Toast with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Bourbon Flambé Apples

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

Derrick Fox

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods. I remember being young and my grandmother making it all the time for me and my brothers. Even as adults, we would still ask her to make us French toast.

French toast is the first actual meal I cooked for my wife when we started dating. I remember telling her I was going to make her breakfast in bed with what I could find in her kitchen, and she exclaimed, “I don’t have much!” And she wasn’t kidding. She had a loaf of Challah bread, a couple of eggs, and an apple! But there is no better idea than to make a girl you like some French toast with a recipe inspired by Grandma—six years later, I guess it worked!

If I’ve got you thinking you’re getting Grandma’s French toast recipe, think again! Since becoming a chef, I have taken French toast to a THOR level and it is out of this world. This recipe was my first MasterChef Challenge before I even thought about being on that show.

I think Guy Fieri would say this recipe could receive the honorary key to Flavor Town. Maybe one day. Now, enough back story. Let’s #cooklikeagod.

Fried French Toast with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Bourbon Flambé Apples

French Toast Ingredients Bourbon Apple Ingredients
·         Loaf of Challah or Brioche Bread ·         1 large green apple
·         4 eggs ·         2 oz whisky
·         ½ cup whole milk ·         1 tbsp butter
·         3 tbsp sugar
·         2 tbsp vanilla extract Equipment
·         1 tsp cinnamon ·         Large pot for frying
·         64oz fryer oil ·         Rubber spatula
·         1 medium sauce pot
Pastry Cream Ingredients ·         2 mixing bowls
·         2 cups whole milk ·         Whisk
·         4 egg yolks (save the whites for a healthy scramble tomorrow!) ·         High heat thermometer that clips to your pot
·         ¾ cup sugar ·         Liquid measuring cup
·         ¼ cup cornstarch ·         Fine mesh strainer
·         2 tsp vanilla extract ·         Slotted spoon
·         2 tbsp butter
·         Pinch of salt

Fried French Toast Ingredients

To prepare the pastry cream: Start by making your pastry cream first. Since the pastry cream can be served either warm or cold, I suggest making it first so that you can choose to either leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or get the hard part out of the way and have it ready to use as soon as your French toast is done frying.

Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt into a medium-sized sauce pot and whisk the ingredients together. Add whole milk into a large liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the egg yolks. Once egg yolks are whisked into the milk, combine with dry ingredients in the sauce pot while whisking, being sure to remove all clumps. Add butter, then place the pot over medium heat and constantly whisk until the mixture starts to bubble. Continue to whisk for about a minute but be careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. (I also sometimes drop in a dash of cold milk to smooth the mixture out just a little.)

Cooking with Thor Kitchen Range

For extra smooth pastry cream, place a fine mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and strain the pastry cream.

If serving the pastry cream cold, cover with plastic and place in the fridge to cool. If you plan to serve the pastry cream warm, still cover with plastic so that the cream doesn’t form a skin and set aside until the French toast is ready.

To prepare the Bourbon Apples: Slice the apple and add into a sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Once the apple starts cooking, add the whiskey. For safety reasons, make sure to ONLY pour from a small glass or shot glass and DO NOT POUR FROM THE BOTTLE.

Tilt your pan away from you to start your flambé. Then sauté your apples until your flame burns out. Immediately add your butter and turn heat to low. The butter will mix with the cooked bourbon and create a really nice glaze. This is great as is to add over your dish, or you can add maple syrup to this pan then add to your dish.

To prepare the French toast: On your range, fill a large pot with fryer oil just a little over halfway. Not too full because you have to fry your toast and we don’t want to overflow your pot. Attach your thermometer and bring your oil to 350° F.

Cube the bread into large, 1-1 ½ square-inch cubes.

Cube bread for french toast

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Once mixed, toss the cubes in batter until fully covered.

With a slotted spoon, scoop the cubes from the mix and drop into the oil 6-8 cubes at a time. The pieces will float, so I like to use a mesh sieve or a large spoon to either push the bread into the oil or flip in the pot accordingly. Once you get going, it’s a lot easier than it sounds!

frying french toast

When browned and crisp to your liking, take a slotted spoon and remove them to a metal mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl, toss the cubes with a little cinnamon sugar.

Now let’s put it on the plate. I like to start with a big spoonful of the pastry cream right in the middle. Then I pile my cubes as high as I can and place the apples like they are climbing a French toast mountain. Drizzle some of the bourbon butter, and some maple syrup. Done! This dish is so good and always a crowd pleaser.

Chef Derrick Fox Fried French Toast