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This glorious Monte Cristo Sandwich is layered with ham, turkey, and Swiss, then battered and oven-fried to crispy, fluffy perfection.
Disneyland made the Monte Cristo famous back in the 1960s where it was (and still is) a mainstay on the menu of the Blue Bayou Restaurant (currently nestled in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride). This delicious sandwich is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or breakfast-for-dinner.
- Strawberry jam. Mixing jam with mustard gives it that sweet/savory taste. (Raspberry jam works in a pinch, too.)
- Sandwich bread: Basic but sturdy white sandwich bread is the best which holds up to the batter. If you can’t find any, Challah works as a replacement.
- Swiss cheese: French gruyère is delicious, but any melty Swiss cheese will do.
- Ham and turkey: This can be deli lunchmeat or leftover baked ham or turkey.
- First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard and strawberry jam together and set aside.
- Next, make the custard. Whisk together eggs, dry mustard, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish and set aside.
- To assemble the sandwich, spread the jam/mustard mixture over one slice of bread. Then top with cheese, ham, and turkey in that order.
- If you have enough of everything, repeat the layer of cheese, ham, and turkey, and finally, finish with one more layer of cheese.
- Spread more jam/mustard on the second piece of toasted bread, and top the sandwich with it, jam side down, on top of the cheese. Cheese on both sides of the bread will glue the sandwich together as it bakes. Give the sandwich a gentle but firm press with the palm of your hand.
For oven-frying the sandwich:
- Pour some vegetable oil in a rimmed sheet pan and put it in the oven on the upper-middle rack. Let the oil heat up until almost smoking, about 7 minutes.
- To coat the Monte Cristo in batter, carefully dip both sides of the sandwich in the custard.
- When ready to bake, carefully move them to the pre-heated, oiled baking tray.
- Bake the sandwiches for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them as they brown.
- Finally, remove them from the oven and serve immediately, dusted with powdered sugar and extra jam on the side.
Recipe tips and variations:
- Assembly-line style: To speed through the work, make all the sandwiches at once. Then, dip them in the batter one at a time, move the coated sandwiches onto a plate, and repeat until everything is assembled and you’re ready to bake.
- Make it thick or thin: The Monte Cristo is delicious stuffed with ham and turkey OR made with less. Just make sure the cheese stays close to the bread because it glues the sandwich together when it melts.
- Make ahead: Get the sandwiches ready a few hours before you need them and stash them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Then make the custard, dip, and cook.
- Save some jam for dipping: Maple syrup, strawberry jam, or both taste incredible with this breakfast sandwich.
Other delicious breakfast recipes:
- Breakfast Burritos
- Pulled Pork Pancakes with Whiskey Maple Syrup
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons strawberry jam or raspberry jam
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 12 slices hearty white sandwich bread lightly toasted
- 18 thin slices Swiss cheese or Guryere cheese
- 12 thin slices deli ham preferably Black Forest
- 12 thin slices deli turkey
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Whisk together eggs, cream, sugar, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne in shallow dish until combined. Stir jam and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl.
- Spread 1 teaspoon jam mixture on 1 side of each slice of toast. Layer slices of cheese, ham, and turkey over jam on 6 slices of toast.
- Repeat with the second layer of cheese, ham, and turkey. Add final layer of cheese and top with remaining toast, with jam side facing cheese. Using hands, lightly press down on sandwiches.
- Pour oil into rimmed baking sheet, place in oven, and heat until just smoking, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, using 2 hands, coat each sandwich with egg mixture and transfer to large plate.
- Transfer sandwiches to preheated baking sheet and bake until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, using spatula to flip. Remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve immediately with remaining jam mixture.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.