This recipe comes from pastry chef Zoë Kanan, who often puts bostock on the menu at New York’s Simon & the Whale as a special using whatever fruits and spices are in season. This version calls for roasted apricots, though she says rehydrated dried apricots could work just as well. Kanan prefers skin-on almond flour for taste and aesthetic purposes, but any good-quality almond flour will give you a great result. Bostock is easy to make in batches at home, and it travels well.
- Arrange the bread slices on a parchment-lined half-sheet tray and use a fork to pierce each slice 6 times. Set aside to dry out while preparing the remaining components.
- Preheat an oven to 325 F. Whisk the honey and juices to combine and set aside. Slice apricots in half and set cut side down in a ceramic baking dish. Pour the honey liquid over the fruit, scatter the pits and cinnamon sticks, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each apricot over, and spoon some of the roasting liquid over the face of the fruit. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the fruit is softened but still retains its shape. Cool in the baking dish to room temperature, then slice each half apricot in half again, from top to bottom. Collect the roasting liquid in a bowl.
- Combine the almond flour and cinnamon on a parchment-lined sheet tray and toast at 325 F for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Halfway through, use a spoon to redistribute the flour on the sheet tray to encourage even coloration. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 350 F. Whisk the butter and sugar together in a wide-mouthed bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to incorporate completely before the next addition. The butter may separate into curds during this process, but continual whisking will homogenize the mixture. Whisk in almond extract, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the cooled almond flour and cinnamon.
- If necessary, thin the roasting liquid with water to a simple-syrup viscosity. Use a pastry brush to thoroughly soak each slice of bread with the liquid, flipping over to soak both sides. Divide the almond cream evenly among the 8 slices (about 50g) and spread from edge to edge, completely covering. Arrange 3 slices of apricot on top of the almond cream and sprinkle with chopped almonds.
- Place the tray of assembled bostock on the middle oven rack and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes, or until the almond cream is golden and set on the edges and just slightly moist in the center. Cool for 15 minutes, then dust with cinnamon sugar.