by olivia cooper
Although the name doesn’t sound it, bostock, or brioche aux amandes, is a French pastry – a cousin of French toast and an almond croissant. Bostock is made of day-old brioche brushed with a flavored simple syrup, then spread with almond frangipane and baked until golden. This version calls for pear slices, which combine with fragrant orange blossom syrup and creamy frangipane for a lovely combination of seasonal flavors.
Since it takes almost no time to whip up enough for a crowd, it just might become your new favorite fall treat. During this season when friends and family often drop by, keep these on hand to pop in the oven for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack. Wrapped in plastic wrap, they can be stored raw for up to a month in the freezer. Thaw completely before baking.
1 loaf day-old brioche, sliced 1 in. thick
2/3 cup water
2 cups sugar
Zest of half an orange
2 tbsp. orange blossom water
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 cups almond flour
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. dark rum (or brandy, if preferred)
1⁄4 tsp. salt
2 Bartlett or Anjou pears, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange brioche slices on the pan, leaving at least an inch between each slice.
For the orange blossom syrup:
In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine water with 2 cups of the sugar, orange zest and orange blossom water. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
For the frangipane:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and cook until golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a bowl, stir together the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, rum, salt and melted butter.
Brush both sides of each brioche slice liberally with the syrup. Spread each of the tops evenly with about 1/4 cup frangipane. Arrange a few pear slices on each slice.
Bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar immediately before serving.
Food Contributor Olivia Cooper is a full-time communications professional and part-time baker living in St. Petersburg, Florida. On her blog, A Dash of This, she enjoys sharing recipes inspired by her Southern roots and her love of French flavors.