Apple-Maple French Toast

Serves 4 to 6
Along with pancakes, French toast is one of the few sugary-sweet breakfasts I brought my children up eating. This version is best when there’s a slight nip in the air and apples are at their sweetest. I like to eat mine with a salty runny-yolk fried egg on the side, naturally (see Egg Evangelist)


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 6 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for serving
  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup


  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of ground cinnamon in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add the bread in a single layer, turning until all the egg is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter, and add apples, stirring to coat until starting to caramelize. Add the water, cooking until water has evaporated and apples are tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the maple syrup and a dash of ground cinnamon; simmer for a minute to combine.
  4. In a large, heated nonstick skillet, melt about 1 tablespoon butter and saute the soaked bread until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Place French toast on a plate and top with apple-maple mixture, plus more butter if you’d like!
cook's note
Apples: Any apple will do here. I’m a big believer in using what is on hand and not feeling pressured to have the perfect ingredient before you can cook. But if you have the choice, seek out a tart apple like Granny Smith, Cortland, or Winesap.

Good to know: Lost bread (a literal translation of the French pain perdu) is old bread that’s perfect for French toast. Because it’s dry and porous, it will suck up the egg mixture. You can use slices from a fresh loaf, but if you have the time, lay the slices out on a baking sheet overnight uncovered or dry it out slightly in a 250°F oven for several minutes.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: