Photo: John Kernick; Styling: Paige Hicks
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
35 Mins
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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

contentedgirl's Review

December 10, 2011
I thought that this recipe was wonderful! Everything seemed to work well together - the apples and shallots with the maple syrup and apple cider made such a delicious, not too sweet syrup (although my husband, who loves maple syrup, added more maple syrup on top of it). I made this for my sister and her husband while they were visiting us, and they thought it was fabulous. In fact, I had to make it again the next time they visited since it was such a hit. I loved the little bit of Gruyere cheese tucked into the ciabatta bread - subtle yet a nice hint of nutty cheese to contrast with the syrup. Don't forget the toasted pecans on top - they just round it all out. This morning was my third time making it & I'll definitely make it again!

Lakefam's Review

September 18, 2011
This recipe was FANTASTIC. My daughter-in-law made it for brunch and it was a big hit with everyone. I liked it because it wasn't overly sweet. The cider sauce is delicious...I didn't use any extra maple syrup. Two small changes she made to the recipe: Italian bread instead of ciabatta and Granny Smith apples instead of Macintosh. Truly fabulous!

MaryKRocco's Review

January 12, 2013
Tastes like poop. The appearance-smell-taste combo is way off. If you make it... Do not use cheese, or onions. They are weird. This is French Toast not a dinner casserole.

JessicaLuu's Review

September 30, 2011
This was yummy. It wasn't too sweet like most french toast, and I thought it worked for all three meals. I didn't think it was too savory; the shallots were very subtle. As to what Vailmorgan said I think she used apple cider vinegar instead of apple cider. There is no vinegar in this recipe.

Vailmorgan's Review

September 11, 2011
I thought this sounded delicious. It just didn't work for my husband and I though. I made it for breakfast and maybe that was the problem. It was a little too savory for us. We did not like the taste of shallots & vinegar with the sweetness of the apples and maple syrup. I may try this again without using the shallots and vinegar.

BrendaLRGale's Review

January 31, 2012 hubby loved it! My tastebuds were a little confused, but glad I tried it, all the same! I used Rome apples and sugar-free maple syrup. Not much food for 10 pts, but it was fun to try something different.