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Ciabatta French Toast with Warm Apple Maple Syrup

Photo: John Kernick; Styling: Paige Hicks
Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 35 mins
Yield Serves 6
Moist yet crusty ciabatta and nutty Gruyère cheese set this dish apart from traditional French toast. A vegetable peeler works great for getting thin slices out of the cheese. Rome or Fuji apples would also work.


  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups sliced McIntosh apples
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 6 (2-ounce) slices ciabatta bread
  • 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 373
  • fat 14.3 g
  • satfat 5.9 g
  • monofat 6.1 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 12.8 g
  • carbohydrate 51.3 g
  • fiber 2.4 g
  • cholesterol 57 mg
  • iron 2.4 mg
  • sodium 607 mg
  • calcium 205 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine cider and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the cider mixture, apples, and syrup to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; cook 3 minutes or until apples begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Set aside, and keep warm.

  2. Cut a horizontal slit through bottom crust of each bread slice to form a pocket; stuff 1/2 ounce cheese evenly into each pocket. Combine fat-free milk, buttermilk, and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Working with 1 stuffed bread slice at a time, place bread slice into milk mixture, turning gently to coat both sides.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in pan. Add 3 coated bread slices to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons butter and remaining 3 coated bread slices.

  4. Place 1 French toast slice onto each of 6 plates; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans.