Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

Holla!!! [SORRY.]

I bring you challah French toast topped with all sorts of goodies. First of all, there are the roasted apricots. Oh my gosh, roast your apricots people! 

Some of you might be thinking, “I don’t buy apricots because they are always tasteless and mealy.” Yes. I totally commiserate with you and I’ve been there.

Many, many, many times.

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

I’m rarely impressed with store-bought apricots.  I get really excited, buy a bagful of them, grab one out of the bag to eat on the way home, and am always disappointed. Maybe it is an East Coast thing, or maybe I just have really bad luck. Or maybe I just need to get myself to an apricot farm.

Eventually this happened so many times that I gave up on apricots for a while and loaded up on nectarines, peaches, and other stone fruit instead. They were half the price and a million times better.

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

But last summer, I was on my weekly grocery trip to Trader Joe’s, saw an amazing deal on apricots, and caved. I probably bought over two pounds worth.

And guess what? They were all horrible. Instead of giving up and ending my relationships with apricots forever, I decided to slice them in half, sprinkle them with lemon juice and sugar, and roast the heck out of them. Because…why not?

Well, this is where I circle back to my previous statement: Roast your apricots people! It is a life-changing thing. You can take the crappiest apricot on the planet, roast it at high heat, and transform it into the best apricot of your life. And yes, that sounds ridiculously dramatic, but it is totally true.

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

They lose all of their mealiness, soften in their skin and become extremely concentrated in flavor. Tart and sour, but just sweet enough to make you want to devour an entire pan’s worth in one sitting.

After my first apricot roasting experience, I haven’t looked back once. I roast them every.single.time without fail, and am never ceased to be amazed by how much they transform in the oven.

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

Instead of just eating them plain or with yogurt as a snack, I recently got the idea of pairing them with challah French toast and topping the whole thing off with toasted almond slices. Apricots and almonds are best of friends in the pastry world, and this dish is no exception.

Somewhere along the brainstorming process, I got the idea of adding vanilla mascarpone into the mix–and never looked back. The vanilla mascarpone is simply mascarpone mixed with scraped vanilla beans and vanilla extract. It is rich and wonderful, melts slightly on the hot French toast, and tastes like butter.

But better.

Don’t forget the hot maple syrup!

Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds

Yield: 4-5 Servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Print Print Recipe

Ingredients:

Roasted Apricots:

  • 1 lb. apricots, pitted and sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • juice of half a lemon

Vanilla Mascarpone:

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • small pinch of salt

Challah French Toast:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 (1-inch-thick) large slices of challah bread
  • unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • pure maple syrup, warm
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast Apricots: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place apricots, cut-side up, in a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Toss with lemon juice and sprinkle the apricots evenly with sugar. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until soft and just starting to caramelize. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Prepare Vanilla Mascarpone: Combine the mascarpone cheese with the scraped vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, whole milk, sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt in a large shallow dish until well combined.
  4. Heat butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until small bubbles form. Soak the challah slices, one at a time, in the egg mixture, turning until just saturated. Allow excess egg mixture to drip off, and cook the french toast until golden brown, flipping once.
  5. Top french toast with 3-4 roasted apricot halves and a small spoonful of vanilla mascarpone. Sprinkle with toasted almond slices, dust with powdered sugar, and serve with hot maple syrup.

[Excuse me why I go wipe off the drool from my face.]

   

45 Responses to “Challah French Toast with Roasted Apricots, Vanilla Mascarpone, and Toasted Almonds”

  1. #
    1
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 24, 2014 @ 8:10 am

    Challah french toast is so good and yours, with those juicy apricots and vanilla mascarpone, this is a breakfast worth getting up for – pinned!

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:11 am

      Thanks Averie! (Also, I realized I must have just been scrolling forever in IG the other night–because I definitely didn’t go to bed at 7 PM EST, haha!)

  2. #
    2
    Mimi — June 24, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    Oh my. I love every aspect of this! Especially the vanilla bean marscapone!!! You’re very talented!

  3. #
    3
    Anna @ Garnish with Lemon — June 24, 2014 @ 8:50 am

    Oh my goodness. Yes. Just Yes.

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:10 am

      Thanks!! :)

  4. #
    4
    pippa@popovertopippas — June 24, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    mmmmmmmmm, I may come over for breakfast this weekend.

  5. #
    5
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout — June 24, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    I love your writing so much! And I feel you with the apricots… I think it must be an East Coast thing because everyone I know out west can shovel them down raw. Ugh. Roasted looks delicious though and the challah is genius! Yum :)

    • Laura replied: — June 26th, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

      Thank you so, so much Medha! I feel like that is the part of this whole blogging thing that I struggle the most with–so that really means so much to me! :)

  6. #
    6
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext.com — June 24, 2014 @ 10:15 am

    I love every single thing about this recipe! The pictures are absolutely stunning and I really want to dive into a plateful right now for my dinner! :)

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:10 am

      Thank you so, so much Jess! :)

  7. #
    7
    CakePants — June 24, 2014 @ 10:21 am

    This looks beyond fantastic!! I don’t know that it’s an east/west coast difference – I grew up in CA and never really saw people buying apricots to eat them raw (my family certainly never did). I remember reading earlier this year in the Flavor Bible that apricots are one of the rare fruits that are better cooked/poached/roasted/grilled than raw. I’ll have to pick some up so I can make this next weekend – yum!!

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:10 am

      Oh wow! Maybe it’s just an apricot thing then? I’ve heard they are amazing off the vine–but I totally agree with the Flavor Bible, they really shine best when roasted/poached/cooked.

  8. #
    8
    Meg — June 24, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    Welp, this looks like the be-all/end-all of divine breakfast foods. Wow. I’d be DONE — how to ever top it?!

  9. #
    9
    Alexis @ Upside Down Pear — June 24, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    This actually sounds like my childhood wrapped up in a french toast! I remember sitting at my grandma’s kitchen table and just devouring apricots! She would also always seem to have a package of dried ones around during the off season. I am definitely going to have to get my butt in gear and make my own load of challah and then immediately afterwards make this!!

  10. #
    10
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers — June 24, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

    This is gorgeous and I can just imagine the flavours. I love cooked apricots. Must try this!

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:11 am

      Love, love cooked apricots! Thanks Jen! Let me know if you do!

  11. #
    11
    Mariana @The Candid Kitchen — June 24, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    I am converted, I will never not roast my apricots ever again! They are up there with pears to me, maybe like you said it is bad luck, but I do find they are often boring. Great tip. And the bread looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:20 am

      YES! :) I totally know what you mean about pears. I love bartlett pears by themselves, but some other varieties (Bosc, etc.) definitely taste better cooked!

  12. #
    12
    Crystal | Apples & Sparkle — June 24, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

    The addition of the mascapone!! This is one heck of a french toast recipe. I agree about roasting the apricots. I just made a baked apricot tart yesterday and as I was putting it together I tasted one of the apricots and thought “oh no, they have no flavor!” but after they were baked they were totally transformed into sweet-tart jewels of apricot-y goodness. : )

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Thanks Crystal! Your apricot frangipane tart was gorgeous!! That is one of my favorite desserts ever.

  13. #
    13
    Maria — June 24, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I NEED this French Toast!

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:09 am

      Thanks Maria! :) Wish I could bring you a plate!

  14. #
    14
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — June 24, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    And on that note, it’s totally going to be a breakfast for dinner kinda night!

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Haha! :)

  15. #
    15
    Hanna — June 24, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

    This looks so good.

  16. #
    16
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — June 24, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    I know I ALWAYS say this about your posts, but this french toast is GORGEOUS! I love the tip for roasting the apricots, I have the same problems with peaches until the end of July, I imagine it would work with them as well!

  17. #
    17
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — June 24, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    Ummmm so THIS needs to happen in my life ASAP.

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Wish I could bring you some!! Thanks friend!

  18. #
    18
    Laura | Fork Knife Swoon — June 24, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    I can’t buy/eat challah without saying “holllllllaaa” an obnoxious number of times :) Your photos are lovely and this looks delish. Love the mascarpone cream! And roasting lackluster fruit is spot on.

    • Laura replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Haha! Glad I’m not the only one who does that! Thanks so much Laura!

  19. #
    19
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — June 24, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

    I want this now!

  20. #
    20
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 25, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    Those roasted apricots look sooooo good!! LOVE it!

  21. #
    21
    Rachel Cooks — June 25, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

    Holy cow — that vanilla mascarpone!!! Wow.

    • Laura replied: — June 26th, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

      Haha! Thanks Rachel! :)

  22. #
    22
    Karen @ The Food Charlatan — June 26, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

    This sounds absolutely fabulous Laura! I grew up eating apricots straight off the tree in our backyard and I still didn’t love them. Sometimes you find a good one, but it’s rare. I’m so going to try roasting them! Plus, challah. Ummm yeah.

  23. #
    23
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — June 28, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

    OMG! This has to be the most decadent looking french toast, ever. I NEED! And pinned :)

    • Laura replied: — June 29th, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

      Thanks Kiran!! :)

  24. #
    24
    Joanne — June 29, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

    I have had a similar relationship with apricots until I tried this variety called candycots. WHOA. Life changing. They are just as sweet and intensely flavored as dried apricots. I was impressive. I think they’re kind of hard to find, though, so I will definitely be roasting from here on out!

  25. #
    25
    Mom — July 1, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Dying to try these, but may have to go in increments! I’ll just try roasting the apricots for now! Don’t trust myself not to eat all of them, as i am the only one in the house right now! Fabulous photos!

  26. #
    26
    Tina — July 10, 2014 @ 2:25 am

    Yumm yumm.. My kids will definitely love this… Thanks a lot…

    • Laura replied: — July 12th, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

      Thanks Tina!

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