Croque Madame French Toast

4 servings
45 min prep time
45 min total time

Add a little oh la la to your Easter brunch with this playful mashup of French toast and the Parisian favorite, Croque Madame.

Ingredients

6 ounces thinly sliced deli ham, roughly chopped

6 ounces aged Gruyère cheese, grated

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche divided

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

8 large eggs, divided

1 cup whole milk

1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped, if desired

8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices brioche, pan de mie, pullman or challah

6 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Sea Salt Cultured Butter - 82% Butterfat divided

Good-quality maple syrup, for serving, if desired

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; set aside.

  • STEP 2

    To make filling, combine chopped ham, Gruyère cheese, 1/2 cup crème fraîche, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg in medium bowl; mix well. Remove 1/2 cup mixture; set aside.

  • STEP 3

    To assemble French toast, place 4 slices bread on rimmed baking sheet. Divide larger portion of filling evenly among bread on baking sheet, gently pressing into even layer crust to crust. Top each with remaining slices bread, gently pressing down to seal sandwiches.

  • STEP 4

    Whisk together 4 eggs, milk, remaining 2 tablespoons crème fraîche and 1/4 teaspoon salt and rosemary, if desired, in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over sandwiches, flipping each sandwich to coat. Allow sandwiches to rest, flipping again halfway through, 10 minutes or until all liquid is soaked into bread.

  • STEP 5

    Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in skillet; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until dappled and deep golden. Transfer sandwiches to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches. Wipe skillet clean; set aside for cooking remaining eggs.

  • STEP 6

    Divide remaining 1/2 cup filling among 4 sandwiches, placing in small even circle in center of each. Bake 10 minutes or until French toast is puffy and fully heated through.

  • STEP 7

    Meanwhile, return skillet to medium heat; add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Heat until melted and foaming. Crack remaining 4 eggs into skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook until desired doneness*.

  • STEP 8

    Transfer baked French toast to large platter or individual plates; top each sandwich with 1 fried egg. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

    * FDA guidelines for safe handling instructions recommend cooking eggs until white and yolk are firm.