French bakeries spread slices of plain day-old brioche with almond paste and crunchy nuts and bake it all in the oven. In her cookbook Heritage Baking (Chronicle, $29.95), Ellen King of Hewn bakery in Illinois adds fruit for a hit of tang.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Cut loaf into 8 slices. Arrange on a tray, cover lightly with paper towels and let stand overnight. Or, if in a rush, place slices on a baking sheet. Bake in a 300° oven, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once.

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  • Prepare frangipane: Coarsely chop toasted almonds in a food processor. With the machine running, add 1/4 cup sugar and the salt; process until just combined. Add butter in 3 additions, processing until combined after each addition. When mixture is light and fluffy, add egg and process to combine. Drizzle in bourbon and pulse 2 or 3 times until fully mixed. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Remove frangipane from refrigerator to soften. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar and the water and vanilla in a pie plate until sugar is dissolved. Dip each bread slice into the syrup, soaking no longer than 10 seconds on each side, then transfer to the wire rack in the pan. Top each slice with 3 tablespoons frangipane, a few slices of fruit and a sprinkle of raw almonds.

  • Bake until golden and fruit is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature the same day as baking.

*Brioche

You can make this recipe with brioche from a bakery or specialty store such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, or make your own. Find bakery-owner Ellen King's recipe for Classic Brioche Loaf on midwestliving.com.

Nutrition Facts

604 calories; 36 g total fat; 143 mg cholesterol; 391 mg sodium. 61 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein;

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