Recipe: Torrijas Spanish Toast by Chef José Andrés

At Tres inside the SLS hotel, pillowy batons of brioche are paired with caramelized compressed apple.

The September issue of Los Angeles magazine is on newsstands now. Be sure to pick up a copy—in it, we celebrate all things brunch!

Chef José Andrés has more signature dishes to his name than perhaps any other chef in L.A. right now: his Philly cheesesteak, “Dragon’s Breath”, and once upon a time, foie gras cotton candy lollipops keep diners full and entertained. So we had to visit his other restaurat, Tres, inside the SLS Hotel to try his French toast. Lo and behold, Andrés does not disappoint. On a simple white plate are two batons of the fuffliest brioche toast. Sitting plainly next to them is a third rectangle of compressed, caramelized apple. At first, it looks like the apple will be difficult to eat, as it’s all stacked up so neatly. But use the same pressure you placed on the brioche and the slices of apple will peel away right onto your fork. Could something like this be made at home? Andrés says yes. Here, he’s converted his recipe for the home cook. Get ready to wow your brunch guests this weekend.

Torrijas Spanish Toast by Chef José Andrés at Tres at the SLS Hotel

4 slices brioche bread, approximately ½ in thick, cut into rectangles
butter, for frying

Torrijas batter
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cup half and half
1 lemon zested
1 orange zested
1 cinnamon stick
3 oz granulated sugar
5 large eggs

Apple Compote
6 Granny Smith apples
3 oz melted butter
1.5 oz granulated sugar

To make the torrijas batter:

  1. Combine cream, half and half, lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon and sugar in a pot. Bring up to a boil then remove from heat. Cover the mixture and let steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Then, whisk eggs well, and slowly drizzle the warm cream mixture into the eggs. Continue whisking until all of the cream mixture is incorporated. Let cool.
  3. Soak brioche bread in the torrijas batter.

To make the apple compote:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin and peel apple slices into the shape of ribbons.
  2. Butter a 2” deep pan and begin repeating the following steps until all of the ingredients are used up: Lay 3 layers of apple ribbons/Drizzle melted butter/Sprinkle with sugar
  3. Bake at 320 F covered with aluminum foil for 60 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for an additional 45 minutes.
  4. Let cool outside of oven for 30 minutes. Slice into desired shapes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the torrijas:

  1. Remove brioche from batter and let excess batter drip off. Add about 1 Tablespoon of butter to a nonstick pan and place over medium heat. When butter sizzles, begin frying the brioche. Add additional butter as needed.
  2. After each rectangle is cooked on all sides, add 1 tsp of sugar to the pan. Cook the torrijas on top of the sugar over medium heat, browning on all sides—keep heat low and be careful that the sugar does not burn.
  3. Set cooked torrijas aside in warm oven until ready to serve.

To plate, place two slices of caramelized brioch on a plate and set a stack of apple compote next to them. Serve warm with butter, syrup, or whipped cream.