Plum Jam and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese French Toast
September 22, 2022
This take on stuffed french toast is the perfect option for brunch. The use of sharp cheddar makes it feel a bit more savory, but combine that with bold plum jam for a totally breakfast feel. If you haven’t tried grilled cheese french toast yet, then you are missing out.
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If there’s two things I love eating, it’s grilled cheese and french toast. And the two are truly so similar in form: both constructed from bread and cooked on the stove. Why not combine them into an excellent brunchy treat?
I went with sharp cheddar for the cheese here, which is a grilled cheese classic. Plus the flavor is a nice complement to the sweet-tart plum jam, which is made from seasonal prune plums. Feel like saving a step? Swap out the jam for something store bought for a super quick meal.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this plum and cheddar grilled cheese french toast at your grocery store:
- Produce: Plums
- Pantry: Brown sugar, Apple cider vinegar, Bread
- Spice Rack: Cinnamon, Cardamom
- Fridge: Cheddar cheese, Eggs, Milk
- Equipment: Saucepan, Griddle pan, Spatula
Let’s Make Plum & Cheddar Grilled Cheese French Toast
Fruit and cheese is a combo that goes back probably to the beginning of cheese, and plums are an excellent choice when it comes to pairing with one of my favorite cheeses: New York sharp cheddar.
If you are looking for something a little less bold, you can definitely make these sandwiches with a milder cheddar as well, but I do suggest going with a nice, medium-sharp aged cheddar for the full effect.
As for your plums, you really can’t go wrong. Italian or prune plums, which are what I used, are generally easy to work with and pit, so they are often my go-to for cooking with. However, any red or black plums, or even pluots, will have that tart skin and sweet floral flesh that shines here.
Get started with prepping the plums first, since you’ll be working on the jam right away. A firmer plum will be easier to cut and generally be a slightly tarter choice than one that’s super ripe. Don’t peel them, since their thin skin has so much flavor. But you will need to remove the pits and roughly chop the plums.
Then add them into a saucepan along with some brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and cardamom. I love the combination of cinnamon and cardamom, which are both fragrant fall spices, perfect for pairing with any stone fruits. The vinegar adds a little extra tang of its own, while the brown sugar provides both sweetness and richness to give the jam some depth.
Cook everything together over medium heat, stirring to combine. If your plums are fairly hard, cover the pot for two minutes to soften them up.
Then cook the soft plums for about five to ten minutes, uncovered. Be sure that you are stirring frequently, so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom. You can also use your spoon to squish the plums, pressing them into the bottom and sides of the pot.
Once the mixture has thickened somewhat, and has a consistency that falls between a syrup and a cold jam, turn off the heat. You can set this aside for a moment while you get the rest of the ingredients ready for the sandwiches.
First, let’s talk cheese. You can buy cheddar pre-sliced, or you can get it in a block and slice it yourself. Either way, you’ll be splitting six ounces of cheese across four sandwiches, so that’s a pretty good amount on each. Nice thick slices work well here.
Arrange the cheese on half of the slices of bread. I really liked the flavor that a sourdough miche added, especially when it’s made with a mix of hearty whole grain and fluffy all-purpose flour. However, you can use whatever type of bread you love the most.
Thin slices, about half an inch or less, work nicely, but you still want them to be sturdy enough to hold the cheese and jam, so stay away from super flimsy breads. Also, if the slices have large holes, you may end up leaking some jam. If there are a couple small ones, you can plug them with extra cheese.
On top of the cheese, add a good spoonful of the plum jam and carefully spread it around. Across the four sandwiches, you’ll want to use about half to two-thirds of the jam, saving some for later. Then, top each sandwich with a second slice of your bread.
If you haven’t already, this is a good time to grease a griddle pan and start warming it up over medium heat. The pan should be hot when you add the sandwiches, so it’s a good idea to give it a few minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together milk and eggs in a flat-bottom dish. I always like using a square casserole dish for this, since it makes for a nice, shallow pool of custard for dipping the bread without bending it.
Be sure to whisk these together fully until the eggs are completely broken down and smooth, and mixed into the milk.
Place one of the sandwiches into the custard, holding it together with your hands. Let the bread soak up some eggy goodness for about ten seconds or so, then carefully flip the sandwich over to soak the other side.
At this point, there’s no melted cheese or anything particularly sticky to hold these together, so be cautious when flipping. You don’t want to lose any jam or cheese if possible. Let any excess egg drip off and place the custard-coated sandwiches on a plate.
Once your griddle pan is warm, place each sandwich on the greased pan, cheese side down, and then cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. This will help the cheddar get melty, which will hold your sandwiches together.
After about two or three minutes, the bottom piece of bread should be golden brown, and the egg will be fully cooked. Set the foil aside, and use a sturdy spatula to carefully flip each sandwich.
Cover the pan with the foil again, and cook for an additional two or three minutes on the second side. At that point, you can give either side of the grilled cheese french toast a little extra heat if needed, until all the sandwiches are that perfect golden color.
Remove them from the pan, and turn off the heat. You can stack the sandwiches on a big plate, and let everyone grab one, or plate them to serve.
Either way, you’ll definitely want to have the rest of that plum jam handy. Add a big scoop on top of each grilled cheese french toast sandwich, and serve warm. These sandwiches, both before and after cooking, are best made immediately before serving, and should not be prepared in advance. However, you can save the leftovers if needed.
Let the cooked sandwiches cool without additional jam on top. Then, store them in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple days. Reheat each on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through, and serve with warm jam.
The plum jam can be be made in advance, which is a great way to save time when serving brunch. After cooking, transfer the jam to a jar and let it cool to room temperature. Then seal the jar tightly and store it in the fridge for a few weeks. Warm it up before spreading or serving.
Plums and sharp cheddar is a great combo! Especially when they are warm and melty in this grilled cheese french toast – perfect for brunch!
How to Serve Grilled Cheese French Toast
Naturally, the combination of sweet and spiced plum jam alongside salty and sharp cheddar cheese is a perfect fit for brunch. Dress it up by serving your grilled cheese french toast with a savory broccoli and smoked cheese frittata. Then finish off the meal with a dessert like peach ice cream sandwiches.
Of course, you can’t forget the drinks! Make it family-friendly by serving white balsamic peach shrub soda. Or add a little kick with a round of raspberry margaritas, which will complement the fruity plum jam. For something cozier, raspberry white hot chocolate can be served spiked or not.
You can also make the jam in advance, and quickly fry up these sandwiches for an easy morning that feels a little fancy, like a weekday birthday. Enjoy one with a caramel vanilla iced latte for an extra special treat.
More Stone Fruit Brunch Ideas
- Peach and Plum Galette with Balsamic Cream
- Honey Nectarine Cheesecake with Ginger Sour Cream
- Skillet Plum Buckle with Ginger-Almond Streusel
- Brown Butter Peach Avocado Toast with Feta
- Cream Cheese and Nectarine Stuffed French Toast
- Rosemary and Sage Waffles with Peach Compote
- Spiced Apricot Ricotta Toast
- Peach & Plum Crumble with Walnut Streusel
Plum Jam and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese French Toast
- ½ lb Plums pitted and roughly chopped, about a scant pint of small plums
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Cardamom
Grilled Cheese French Toast
- 8 slices Bread Sourdough or your other favorite bread
- 6 oz Sharp Cheddar sliced
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ Cup Milk of Choice
- In a small/medium saucepan, add the plums, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices, and stir to combine over medium heat. If your plums are hard, cover and let cook for 2 minutes to soften.
- Cook soft plums for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing the plum pieces against the sides and bottom of the pot, until thickened slightly. It should be thinner than cold jam but thicker than a syrup.
French Toast Grilled Cheese
- On 4 slices of bread, arrange the cheddar cheese, and then top with a spoonful of the plum jam. Total, you should use about ½-⅔ of the jam for the sandwiches. Then cover each with another slice of bread.
- Grease a griddle or other large, flat pan and warm over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk in a flat-bottom dish, such as an 8x8 casserole.
- Carefully hold each sandwich together while dipping it into the eggs and milk mixture. Then flip it over to coat the other side. Let any excess drip off, and then place the sandwich cheese side down on the hot griddle. Repeat for the other sandwiches.
- Cook 2-3 min per side, loosely covering the pan with foil. When they are done, the bread will be golden brown and the cheese will have melted.
- Cut sandwiches in half, if desired, and serve warm with additional jam on top.
- Make Ahead Tips:
- To make plum jam in advance, transfer to a jar and let it cool to room temperature. Then seal tightly and store in the fridge for 2-4 weeks. Warm before serving.
- The sandwiches are best made just before cooking, and should not be prepared in advance.
- The french toast tastes best immediately after cooking, and should not be prepared in advance. To save leftovers, let the cooked sandwiches cool without additional jam on top, and then store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through, and serve with warm jam.
- Bread makes the sandwich, so be sure you are choosing something you love. It should be a sturdy bread that does not have too many large holes throughout. I enjoyed the flavor of a sourdough miche with the plums and cheddar, so experiment with heartier grains.