Oh, the mystery of the bostock. Since its origins are French, it’s only fair to call it by its true name, brioche aux amandes…and if we want to go further, as Pierre Hermé‘s patisserie shop in Paris likes to call its brioche bostok: brioche au sirop d’amandes et fleurs d’oranger, amandes effilées! I have to say I couldn’t find a whiff of bostock in my Joy of Cooking recipe book, so I had to search deeper in the Intrawebs for a more authentic recipe, blend in some homemade applesauce in the mix, a what a treat!
This delectable French pastry is similar to French toast, and easier to pull off according to Martha, with such a surprising taste that guarantees everyone will be happy! The baked syrup-soaked, frangipane-topped, crispy-edged delight has its roots in Normandy, and it’s popular for breakfast & for entertaining large groups of people since it’s pretty convenient & simple to prepare! This particular version is enhanced by the final run of my apple harvest, and was a complete hit on our breakfast table this morning.
For the Frangipane
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 stick (115g) of butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of spiced rum
To make the frangipane, we must first understand the frangipane. Defined as a filling made from or flavored with almonds, it’s derived from the Italian frangere il pane – or ‘break the bread’. The filling itself can be used in a variety of ways, including cakes & pastries, and although it was originally designated as a custard tart filling, it is now used widely in France’s many traditional foods, especially those usually associated with Christmas.
The preparation is quite simple. In a food processor, add the almonds & the sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the eggs, butter, & salt, and process to a smooth paste. Drizzle in the vanilla & rum, pulsing to incorporate and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Chill at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight!
For the Toasts
- 8 (1-inch-thick) slices of milk bread, brioche, or an enriched white bread
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of apple sauce
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar, for serving
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment or aluminum foil and lightly oil. Place the toasts on the baking sheet and brush both sides liberally with the honey. Spread each piece on one side with 1 tablespoon of applesauce – I used my own personal homemade recipe! – followed by 2 tablespoons of the frangipane.
Sprinkle evenly with the remaining sliced almonds and coat as desired. Bake until the almonds are golden and the frangipane is slightly puffed and set but still soft, about 20 minutes. Oh, trust me, you’ll know. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar! It’s an amazing recipe and I encourage you to try it out!