Apricot and Pecan French Toast

Serves 8


32 - 3/4 inch slices of French baguettes 
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup orange juice
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
6 eggs slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 T. finely grated orange rind, colored part only
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 T. butter

For the Apricot Orange Syrup:

2 cups apricot preserves
3/4 cups orange juice


Combine chopped apricots and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.  Cool to room temperature.  

Mix together the cream cheese and pecans and incorporate the cooled apricot mixture.  Divide evenly over 16 slices of the French bread.  Top with the remaining slices of bread.

Mix together the eggs, cream, sugar, orange rind, vanilla and salt.  Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and completely coat, turning several times.  Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the sandwiches until brown.  (Add more butter if needed).  Hold finished toast in a warm oven until read to serve.

To make syrup, bring to a boil the preserves and orange juice - stir often.

Make flavored apricot butter by whipping butter and adding a small amount of apricot preserves.  Dress the toast with apricot syrup and add a small scoop of the butter.  Allow two per person.