Join us in exploring the history of "The Harvey Girls" on screen and off.
“All aboard the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe!”
Back in 2022, I teamed up with Lora Stocker and Lara Gabrielle to do an episode about Judy Garland and "The Harvey Girls" movie from 1946.
Lora talked to us about her travels to several Harvey House locations across America and we made the Kansas Harvey Girl Orange Pancakes. We had so much fun doing the episode, so we decided it was time to re-team and do another one. This time we decided to make the Caramelized Apricot French Toast.
This recipe is from "La Posada's Turquoise Room Cookbook" by John Sharpe. La Posada opened in 1930 and was a Harvey House on the Santa Fe line. Architect Mary Colter designed the building and gardens. She regarded this as her masterpiece. Click HERE to explore La Posada and learn more!
Caramelized Apricot French Toast
8 apricots, ripe and firm
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream with ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (whipped)
4 slices of brioche (egg bread is a good substitute)
¼ melted clarified butter
8 ounces Prickly Pear or Mesquite Bean Syrup
Powdered sugar to decorate the plate
Heat the top broiler in the oven on high for 10 minutes. Cut the apricots into halves and toss with the brown sugar. Place them on a cookie sheet and put them under the broiler for 1-4 minutes per side until the sugar turns brown and caramelizes. Remove and keep warm (do not leave in the oven).
To make the batter, mix the cream, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Dip bread into the butter and saute' in the butter for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, mix the cream and vanilla until whipped.
Place the toast in the center of a warm plate and top with four apricot halves. Drizzle with syrup, dust with powdered sugar and place a dollop of the whipped cream to the side of the toast. To give the plate an extra flair, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Lora Stocker is a professional designer, illustrator, and artist and does graphic design work for the Turner Classic Movies social media team. She is a North Carolina native and is on the board of the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Lara Gabrielle is a writer and film historian. Her new book Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies was released from UC Press. She writes book reviews, festival coverage, and pieces on the history, theory and culture of film on her blog Backlots. You can find the book on Amazon or at Larry Edmund's Bookshop in Hollywood.
The Final Result
WOW! This recipe is FANTASTIC! My only note would be to only leave your apricots in the broiler for a minute or two depending on the strength of your oven. Mine nearly got burned. I opted not to do syrup, but I am not really curious to try and make the syrups the Prickly Pear and Mesquite Bean syrups the recipe mentions. I'd have to, as they weren't available at my local grocery store.
Lara Karie Lora
These are The Harvey House books from Lora's collection.
Postcards from Lora's collection.
My "Harvey Girls" figurine.
You can see "The Harvey Girls" on TCM and it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Thank you again for joining us on this ride! If you enjoyed this episode, please like, share and consider contributing to my Patreon so I can keep these going.
Stay tuned for more food, fun and film history from Hollywood Kitchen!