Restaurant recipe: 1892 East's crispy French toast

Restaurant recipe: 1892 East's crispy French toast
Crispy French toast, adapted from a dish at 1892 East in Huntsville, Ala. Read the recipe » (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: About a year ago, I was in Huntsville, Ala., attending a graduation at Oakwood University, my alma mater. While I was there, I visited a restaurant named 1892 East New American Restaurant & Tavern for a Sunday brunch. I ordered the crispy French toast, and it was to die for! Is there any way you can get the recipe? I live in California, so going back to Huntsville is out of the question, of course. I would be forever grateful.

Richard Hodnett



Dear Richard: The trick to this French toast is a combination of cornflakes and buttery palmiers, which add great crunch and rich flavor. With a topping of apples and a dusting of powdered sugar, it makes for a perfect start to the day. Now you can have a little Huntsville right here in Southern California.

1892 East's crispy French toast

45 minutes. Serves 4

Apple topping

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup light brown sugar


2 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, cinnamon, brown sugar and a pinch of salt over low heat. Cook, stirring until the apples are tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. While the apples are cooking, combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch mixture to the apples and increase the heat to high, stirring until the liquid bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and hold in a warm place.

Crispy French toast

6 eggs


1 cup half and half

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups cornflakes

1 cup crumbled palmiers (you can substitute 1 extra cup cornflakes)

3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

Oil for deep-frying

4 slices sourdough bread, cut into ¾-inch slices

Apple topping

1. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to form the batter.

2. In a food processor, grind the cornflakes with the palmiers and powdered sugar to a coarse, sandy texture.

3. Heat the oil in a wide pot or deep fryer until it reaches 350 degrees.

4. While the oil is heating, start preparing the French toast: Dip the bread in the batter to soak, then press the soaked bread into the crust mixture on both sides to form a good coating. Place the bread in the fryer, careful not to crowd, and fry until the crust is golden-brown, about 2 minutes.

5. Drain the French toast on paper towels to remove any excess oil, then arrange on a plate and top with apples and a dusting of powdered sugar. Serve immediately.


Calories 823

Protein 21 grams

Carbohydrates 115 grams

Fiber 6 grams

Fat 32 grams

Saturated fat 10 grams

Cholesterol 318

Sugar 52 grams

Sodium 713 mg