I always enjoy reading Food & Wine Magazine and seeing who is going to contribute what. This recipe reminded me of my childhood when we would have a variation of it for supper.

  1. 2 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  4. One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  5. 2/3 cup milk
  6. 2 large eggs, beaten
  7. Eight 1/2-inch-thick hand-cut slices from a loaf of white bread
  8. Dijon mustard
  9. 6 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
  10. 1/2 pound thickly sliced smoked ham
  11. 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, water, maple syrup and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Spread 4 slices of the bread with mustard. Top with half of the cheese, the ham and then the remaining cheese.
  3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat. Dip the bottoms of the 4 topped bread slices in the beaten egg until just saturated and transfer to the skillet. Dip the remaining slices of bread on 1 side only and place them, soaked side up, on the sandwiches. Cover the skillet and cook over moderately low heat until the bread is browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the sandwiches, adding more butter to the skillet if necessary. Cover and cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve with the maple apples.
MAKE AHEAD The apples can be refrigerated in the poaching liquid for up to 1 day; drain just before using. SERVE WITH Steamed or sautéed mustard greens.

Suggested Pairing:

Smoky, salty ham and sweet, nutty Gruyère are perfectly complemented by the contrasting fruity, tart character of a dry or off-dry Riesling.