We’ve been a bit icy in Dallas. Usually this is not an event, and one stays off the roads merely to avoid the bad drivers, but not really the ice. But this ice was formidable enough to keep me happily in the house with the kiddos. Pitts isn’t put off by ice driving even a little bit so I had him run to the store and grab some goodies for me.
There should be a love song about “I gave my love a shopping list and he brought me a basket of Honeycrisp Apples and sausage,” because when I unpacked my gifts, these were the offerings that got my brain ginning with ideas. He also brought me a carton of eggs (the chicken with no bone…as the folk song goes) but that is for a later recipe. Anyone who is still with me at this point either loves Animal House or folk music. I like both. And the song has been stuck in my head since my ice hero showed up with the groceries.
When I run out of groceries I start rambling around in the pantry and the bread basket and usually end up with meals that are long on comfort and short on fresh foods. Toast topped with [whatever] is one of my favorite meals. Before we completely ran out of good stuff, I made cinnamon toast topped with sautéed apples and maple syrup. I got the notion in my head that the only thing missing was sausage…and it turns out I was right. With new apples and sausage, I set about recreating my toast offering and it was wonderful. So I’m sharing it with you. You can multiply the servings and fudge a little on the amounts of anything so long as you 1) make cinnamon toast, 2) top it with hot breakfast sausage chunks, and 3) sauté apples in butter and drown them in syrup, and 4) eat it all together in a big stack drizzled with the syrup left in the pan. Happy people all around me today.
I leave the skins on the apples, by the way. You can peel them if you are in that kind of mood. But I like the added color and texture.
1 pound breakfast sausage
4 thick slices of bread
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
2 apples, cut in ⅓” chunks, skins on
6 tablespoons real maple syrup
1. In a nonstick skillet, crumble and cook the sausage until it is fully cooked. Remove the sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Clean the skillet.
2. Melt the butter in the cleaned skillet and then remove it from the heat. In a small bowl mix the cinnamon, sugar and kosher salt. Place each slice of bread in the melted butter and turn it once, so that each slice is lightly coated on each side with butter. Place the bread on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprinkle on both sides liberally with the cinnamon sugar. Preheat the broiler.
3. Return the pan of butter to medium high heat (there should still be ample butter in the pan) and add the chopped apples. Sauté the apples until they are softened (but still slightly firm) and golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup. Allow it to bubble and thicken and coat the apples. Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, broil the cinnamon toast on one side until it is browned and bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the bread with tongs and then broil on the second side also. Be careful to not allow the toast and sugar to burn.
5. Remove the toast from the oven. For each serving, take one piece of cinnamon toast and top it with a fourth of the sausage. Then top the sausage with a fourth of the apples and a generous spoonful of the hot buttery maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Note: This is a fork and knife breakfast. It is great. Your dish will turn out differently depending on what type of bread you choose. I recommend something from a bakery…a thick crusty affair. But if you do that, the toast will be very crunchy on the edges, thus the warning about needing a knife. Also, your apples will turn out differently depending on the type of apple you use. Some stay quite firm and some turn to mush. Honeycrisp kept their shape and had a lovely flavor. Feel free to play around with the variety you choose. For a post I did on testing apples (and on life and death, as well) visit this Apple Post.
If you like [whatever] on toast, too, you should probably visit these posts, as well: