Breakfast is a meal that so often is rushed through or even skipped altogether. But, when we have the time it’s nice to plan out a really good breakfast, perhaps with a few treats that delight the taste buds. If you’re a French toast fan then you might enjoy what many citizens of France have instead of what we call French toast. Bostock is a dish made with brioche to start, then soaked in a flavored syrup, then covered in almond paste, and finally topped with fruit before baking. If you’re thinking this sounds delicious then you are correct!
The flavor of almonds combined with the rich and sweet brioche is a mouthwatering duo. Add in fruit and you’ve got a truly delicious breakfast.
For this recipe we used red Anjou pears cut into thin wedges. But, you can use the fruit of your choice instead ff pears aren’t your thing. Most fresh stone fruits and/or berries work really well for this dish. Plum, peaches, nectarines, and raspberries are all wonderful in this recipe in place of the pears.
To start this one off you’ll need thick slices of brioche bread. Not every single US grocery store carries this type of bread, but most sell brioche already pre-sliced to the correct thickness. You’ll want slightly stale bread for this dish, so if you have a fresh loaf then you can leave the slices out in a single layer on baking sheets the night before. Or you can simply pre-bake your brioche slices in a 300˚F oven for 15 minutes to bake off some of the moisture.
Once your bread is ready it’s time to make up the coating for the bostock. Instead of using an egg and milk mixture, bostock uses a spiced syrup to soak the bread and this adds a ton of flavor.
In a small sauce pan over low heat combine 2 cups each of water and granulated sugar along with orange zest. Cook just until sugar is completely melted. Remove from heat and then add almond, vanilla, and rum extracts. Let this mixture cool completely.
Next dip each slice of bread into the sugar mixture and allow to sit for a few seconds so that the bread soaks up the syrup. Place slices on greased baking sheet and top with a layer of the almond spread on each one. Traditionally frangipane is used for this dish, but its not a common ingredient in the US so we used almond butter instead. It isn’t as sweet as frangipane, but the addition of sugar to the almond butter spread makes up for this difference.
Top each slice with your fruit then sprinkle some sliced raw almonds on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 350˚F and then dust with powdered sugar before serving for a taste of France right in your own kitchen.
This is a great recipe to make if you don’t love the egg taste of regular French toast. Plus, the orange zest combined with the almond and the rum and vanilla extracts really brings out the fruit flavor and makes this dish an elevated version of French toast.
Almond Pear Bostock
Makes 8 slices
25m prep time
25m cook time
Vegetarian diet suitable
- 1 day-old brioche loaf (8 slices)
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp rum or rum extract
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted almond butter)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1 cup sliced pear or stone fruit, cut into 1/4” thick wedges (2-3 pears)
- 3/4 cup raw sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- If starting with fresh brioche leave slices out overnight in single layer on baking sheets to become stale. Or bake for 300˚F for 15 minutes instead. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine water with 2 cups of sugar and orange zest. Cook over low heat until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from heat and add in almond, vanilla, and rum extracts. Allow to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a medium mixing bowl cream together almond butter, salt, butter, and remaining sugar.
- Dip each slice of bread in the cooled syrup and then top with 3-4 tablespoons of the almond butter mixture. Spread to coat one side of each slice entirely. Place each slice on a greased baking sheet.
- Top each piece of bread with a few slices of pear and a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Bake for 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Recipe adapted from Midwest Living.