Savory French Toast with Envy™ Apple Salsa Is the Ultimate Brunch Recipe
French toast is classic brunch fare for good reason. Who can say no to thick slices of custard-soaked bread that are pan-fried until crispy and golden? Loading up French toast with sweet maple syrup is the norm. But French toast is a blank slate, which means it absolutely can — and should — go savory, too.
This cheesy twist skirts the line between savory and sweet thanks to a fresh apple salsa topping, featuring crisp Envy™ apples. It’s guaranteed to become the perfect brunch essential this spring and beyond. (Looking for a memorable Mother’s Day meal? This one has annual-tradition potential.)
Raise Your Expectations for What an Apple Can Be
While all apples have their own unique flavor and texture, Envy™ is the apple that really does have it all: balanced sweetness, fresh aroma, and satisfyingly crisp texture. The big, beautiful, premium apples were born using natural plant-breeding methods, crossing Braeburn with Royal Gala apples to take full advantage of the ideal growing conditions in both Washington State for the fall harvest and New Zealand for harvesting in the spring, ensuring that they’re in season and available year-round.
There are endless ways to enjoy Envy™ apples, but because they naturally stay whiter for longer after slicing, enjoying them fresh is our favorite way to savor their distinct flavor, aroma, and crisp texture. Their sweetness is a natural pairing with nutty, salty Gruyère cheese, which is melted generously over the eggy French toast. Fresh thyme, shallots, and lemon juice tie the apple salsa together to result in a fast and fancy topping that truly gives this brunch recipe star power.
Savory French Toast with Envy™ Apple Salsa
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes
- 3 sprigs
- 2 teaspoons
Freshly ground black pepper
(1-pound) loaf unsliced challah or brioche bread
- 4 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups
- 3 tablespoons
unsalted butter, divided
Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Core and cut 2 Envy™ apples into small dice. Place in a medium bowl. Halve 1 medium lemon, squeeze the juice over the apples, and toss to coat.
Dice 1/2 small shallot and place in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse well under cool water, drain, and add to the bowl. Strip the leaves from 3 fresh thyme sprigs into the bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and toss to combine.
Cut 1 loaf challah or brioche bread crosswise into 12 slices (each about 3/4-inch thick). Grate 4 ounces Gruyère cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup).
Place 6 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, a generous pinch of kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a 9x13-inch baking dish and whisk to combine.
Place 4 of the bread slices in a single layer in the egg mixture. Soak, flipping once, until moistened but not falling apart, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining 8 slices.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and heat until sizzling but not brown. Add 4 of the bread slices in a single layer. Cook until the bottoms are golden-brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and sprinkle each slice with a heaped tablespoon of grated cheese. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the second side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Transfer to a serving plate. Cook the remaining slices in two more batches, adding 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to the skillet between each batch. Serve topped with the Envy™ apple salsa.
Storage: Leftover French toast and apple salsa can be refrigerated separately in airtight containers for up to 3 days.