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Apple and walnut bostock

Helen Evans, previously head baker at Flor Bakery and now owner/baker at Eric’s in East Dulwich, presents baking recipes where the flour is the star of the show, including this traditional pastry recipe made from brioche bread
Apple and walnut bostock
Line Klein 
Line Klein 

Bostock is essentially a fruit-topped bread, similar to French toast but with a caramelised frangipane crust. It is a great recipe to have up your sleeve, as you can change the fruit from season to season. Use a good quality brioche or white sourdough loaf.


Makes 4

200g walnuts
50g dark brown sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g light brown sugar
135g egg whites and yolks (from around 3 small eggs)
1 vanilla pod
500ml good quality apple juice
125g demerara sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cinnamon stick
4 x 3cm-thick slices brioche or stale bread
2-3 apples (your choice of variety)
  1. Method

    Step 1

    Toast the walnuts in a dry pan until golden brown, allow to cool completely and set aside 50g. Add the remaining 150g walnuts with the dark brown sugar and 2g salt to an electric food processor, and blitz into a fine powder. (Adding the sugar helps prevent the nuts from turning into butter as you blend – even so, watch closely to prevent this from happening and use short, sharp pulses.)

    Step 2

    Cream the butter and light brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, then add the egg, little by little, mixing well between each addition. Finish by adding the blitzed walnuts. Mix until just incorporated – it should look smooth and lump-free. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    Step 3

    Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Combine the apple juice, 125g demerara sugar, cinnamon stick, split vanilla pod and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid by half, then set aside to cool slightly.

    Step 4

    Arrange the brioche or bread on a baking tray lined with parchment. Brush each slice liberally with the slightly cooled syrup, and top with at least a 3mm-thick layer of the sugar and walnut mixture.

    Step 5

    Heat the oven to 190ºC/fan oven 170ºC/mark 5. Cut the apples in half, remove the cores and slice thinly, leaving the skin on. Arrange the slices on top of the walnut mixture, making sure they are thickly layered (you will need ½ apple per bostock, or perhaps more depending on the size of your apples). Sprinkle sparingly with demerara sugar.

    Step 6

    Bake for approximately 14 minutes, then brush the apple slices with a little more syrup. Grate the reserved walnuts on top to serve.

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