This Air-Fried French Toast Isn’t What You Think

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Photo: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

I’m a fierce advocate for frangipane. The sweet, buttery, cake spread made from almond flour, sugar, butter, and eggs turns everything it touches into a delicacy. Normally this sweet almond cream is seen behind bakery windows nestled into tart shells, or tucked away between swirls of pastry-making for elegant desserts (with a matching price tag), but at home it makes the easiest, quickest, everyday-casual French toast you’ve ever put together. Oh, and you can do it in your air fryer in record time.

To clarify, when I say French toast, I mean that this is a type of toast commonly eaten in France. It’s called bostock, or frangipane toast if you like. Leave any ideas of an eggy, custard soak at the door. In fact, a batch of this almond toast is much faster and quicker to make than the French toast that we commonly refer to in the states. You can still use day-old bread, but you certainly don’t need to, there’s no soaking, and no tedious frying and flipping.

The frangipane is what really shines in this breakfast-meets-dessert toast, and that’s a snap to mix together. This simple frangipane recipe can be done by hand with a wooden spoon in about five minutes, as long as your butter has been softened first. Spread roughly a quarter-inch thick layer of soft frangipane onto your bread of choice. Beware, this almond cream will make you greedy and you might be tempted to add a heaping layer to your toast. Resist the urge. Frangipane has very little structure, and a whole lot of butter. It tends to ooze past its boundaries if you let it. For my toast-base, I use slices of brioche when I have it, but a slice of wheat bread, an English muffin, or even a round of pita would be fine. You can leave the frangipane layer plain, and bake it right away, or add a topping like sliced almonds, a few slices of apricot, or banana. Alternatively, you could also add a thin layer of strawberry jam or Nutella to the bread before you top it with a layer of frangipane, and take it from there. The list of flavor combinations is as long as you can conjure up.

For a small batch of one or two slices, set your air fryer to bake mode at 300°F. Bake the bostock for 10 minutes, or until the frangipane has puffed and begins to toast around the edges. For larger batches than will fit in your air fryer, snap on the conventional oven to 350°F. Once it’s preheated, place the toast on a parchment lined sheet tray and bake for 15 minutes. The toast will become crunchy on the bottom, the frangipane will have the slightest crisp, sugary crust, and once you break through the surface, you’ll taste the tender, buttery, almost creamy interior. Any leftover frangipane can be covered and stored in the freezer for a couple months, but the pro move is keeping it in the fridge so you can easily spread it on toast for the rest of the week.

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