Autumn is apple season in the Hudson Valley and it is a special time of year; well at least in my family! Apple season means it is time for our Annual Orchard Family Weekend. Aunts, uncles and cousins come and stay for a weekend. One full day is spent at the orchard and we even tailgate! I think we started something. Over the years I have seen more and more people tailgate at the orchard. After the party we all head home, with bags and bags of apples, for our annual pot roast dinner! The fun is to come up with new recipes for apples; apple cakes, apple pies, warm apples with ice cream and even an apple cocktail.
Apple Almond Crumb French Toast Bake is one special recipe, one that held on and passed the test of time! Everyone loves this recipe and looks forward to having it for breakfast. The kids get excited if we even put one of their apples into the dish! Even when I bake it just for my kids, they feel special because they know how that recipe came to be. It always brings back a flood of many years of memories. Start your own orchard traditions and maybe even a tailgate party or two. Celebrate your autumn! Cheers!
Bacon Almond Crumb French Toast Bake
1/2 pound bacon
1 stick butter
2 cups almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large sweet apples (I used honeycrisp)
1 loaf Italian bread
6 eggs 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
In a large skillet, fry bacon on medium heat until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Slice bread about 1” thick and line bottom of greased oven safe baking dish.
Break up remaining bread into smaller than bite size pieces.
Peel apples and dice into large cubes. Spread mixture of apples and bread pieces evenly across sliced bread in baking dish.
Add all custard ingredients into large bowl and mix well. Pour over bread and set aside.
Next, add all the topping ingredients into food processor or chopper and pulse until they are of chunky consistency.
Mix in bacon that has been cut into small pieces. Distribute topping evenly on top of bread.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. If top needs more browning, place under broiler for a minute or so, watching carefully.
Remove from oven and serve. Feel free to use your favorite syrup if you like. Enjoy!
Caramel Spiced Apple Cocktail
4 shots of spiced rum
4 shots orangecello
1 quart unsweetened apple cider - extra for glass rim
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon caramel
4 cinnamon sticks
4 apple slices
Mix together rum, orangecello and apple cider. Set aside.
In a small flat bottom bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together.
Pour a little cider into another flat bottom bowl and dip glasses in cider, then in cinnamon sugar. Drizzle caramel into the inside of each glass. Pour apple cider mixture evenly into each glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick and an apple slice.