Stuffed French toast is one of my most requested breakfast dishes, so I'm constantly thinking up new combinations to offer our returning guests. We serve this lightly sweetened filling of apples, sour cream, and cream cheese encased in freshly baked cinnamon bread, but French bread may be substituted if you can't find unsliced cinnamon loaves. Melted apple jelly gives the dish a finishing glaze.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup apple jelly
Six 2-inch-thick slices cinnamon bread
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with solid vegetable shortening.
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the chopped apple.
Slice a 2-inch-wide opening into the center of the top of each piece of bread, cutting down almost all the way to the bottom. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each pocket.
Whisk together the eggs and cream in a small mixing bowl. Dip each slice of French toast into the egg mixture, coating each side evenly.
Heat the butter and corn oil in a large skillet until the butter is melted and foamy. Sauté the bread pieces untilgolden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the sautéed pieces on the prepared baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, until the filling is heated through.
In the meantime, heat the apple jelly in a small saucepan or in the microwave until melted. Brush the tops of the baked French toast with the glaze, and serve.
Recipe for a Country Inn: Fine Food from the Inn at Twin Linden
Located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, home of Amish and Mennonite farmers, the Inn at Twin Linden delivers relaxation along with great eating. Recipe for a Country Inn is chef-owner Donna Leahy's evocation of the award-winning spot and its cooking and, perhaps most interestingly, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what makes such a place tick. Leahy pulls no punches, and in a series of "Notes from the Inn" ("Publicity" and "Guests," to name two) she recounts the nitty-gritty of day-to-day inn management. The inn is justly known for its bounteous breakfasts and dinners, and Leahy provides over 125 recipes for these treats, which include the likes of Baked French Toast with Peaches and Blueberries; Apple and Walnut Pancakes; Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto; and Seafood Pot Pie with Saffron and Dill. Soups like Scallops and Sweet Corn Chowder and salads such as Marinated Green Beans with Crispy Leeks are also on the menu, as are desserts and tea-time favorites like Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding and Apricot Coconut Almond Bars. The recipes are readily made and come with tips and variations, like those for dressing up simple egg dishes (use a mixture of crème fraîche and herbs as a delicious all-purpose garnish). Illustrated with color photos throughout, many of which capture the beauty of the inn's locale in all seasons, and with shots of the dishes, the book will delight lovers of country cooking as well as those curious about the management of a vacation institution. --Arthur Boehm More info