Why not update the classic Monte Cristo Sandwich for the Air Fryer? Or you can bake them on rimmed baking sheet, which works especially well for a crowd.
There is a Disneyland version out there that is deep fried but I am not going there!
What a fun twist on a deli sandwich! Add a little jam and powdered sugar and you have a perfect Brunch item – is it a sandwich? Is it a pancake? Is it a waffle? It is a little bit like all of them.
Add a light green salad and you have a meal. Although, the sandwiches are very rich so they can also stand on their own.
This is a great way to use up leftover holiday ham if it is sliced thinly. Chunks of ham or turkey don’t really survive the egg dipping process very well so you are best off with solid, thin slices. Which makes deli meat a perfect option!
The hallmarks of the sandwich are the layers of deli meats and cheese slices, the French-toast-like egg dip, the icing sugar dusting and the jam for dipping.
This recipe calls for jam, cut with Dijon mustard to be slathered on the sandwich itself. Some recipes simply call for jam on the side. I liked the sweet/savoury combination of the jam in the sandwich. The dipping jam on the side seemed like overkill to me but anyone with a sweet tooth would appreciate it I’m sure.
I might as well get this out of the way right up front – these are messy sandwiches! You will most likely want to serve them with a fork and a knife. My fillings started sliding around as the cheese melted into a luscious lava-like flow. If you are concerned about that consider a toothpick through the sandwich halves to help keep them together.
The sandwiches baked on the baking sheet with oil melted and crisped up more uniformly than those cooked in the Air Fryer. But they were oilier and messier to eat. (Delicious though!)
The Air Fryer versions were less greasy, which is sort of the point of Air frying them. You might get away with a hand held on the air fryer version if you can tolerate ‘messy’ food!
The oven baking method definitely has an advantage if you are making more than a couple. You could try baking with just a light spray of cooking spray to cut down on the oiliness. You may need a good scrubber to clean your baking sheet after though!
I hope I haven’t scared you off yet. For all the messiness I have been pointing out – these really are a bit of a decadent treat. And the certainly are filling!
They are perfect for a Holiday late breakfast/brunch when you don’t mind a bit of extra preparation and you want to fill up a crowd!
Air Fryer Monte Cristo Sandwich (Oven Instructions Included)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 tsps sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 12 Tsps jam, plus more for dipping strawberry or raspberry
- 2 Tbsps Dijon mustard
- 12 slices sandwich bread square
- 18 Swiss or Gruyere cheese slices thin, solid slices preferred
- 18 slices deli ham Black Forest Style
- 18 slices deli turkey
- icing sugar
- 3 Tbsps vegetable oil (oven version only)
- Oven method only- Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven. Preheat to 450 degrees. Spread vegetable oil around a rimmed baking sheet. When you start dipping your sandwiches in the egg mix you will put your pan in the oven to preheat while you finish the sandwiches.Air Fryer: Prepare some parchment paper for the sandwich to sit on in your air fryer. If your Air fryer requires preheating, heat it now to 380°.
- Both methods: Lightly toast the bread slices and set aside.
- Whisk eggs, cream, sugar, salt, mustard and cayenne in a small bowl.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of jam on one side of each slice of bread. Layer a slice of cheese, ham and turkey on each of 6 slices of bread. Repeat with another layer of cheese, ham and turkey and then top with the last slice of cheese for each sandwich. Top with a slice of toast, jam side down.
- Press the sandwiches lightly to compress them. (You can make them ahead and refrigerate at this point, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.) You may want to insert a toothpick to keep them from sliding apart when the cheese melts.
- Oven method only: This is where you will put your oiled baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
- Pour egg mixture in to a rimmed plate. Dip sandwiches on all sides and set on a separate platter. When all sandwiches are dipped and coated:Air Fryer method: Transfer sandwiches to your air fryer. Air fry for 5 minutes at 380 degrees; then flip the sandwich and cook another minute or 2- 3 until the other side is browned and cooked. You may choose to add another minute or two if the cheese slices are not evenly melted. Depending on the configuration of your oven, if you have trays, switch the bottom and top tray after the first 5 minutes. Oven method: Transfer dipped sandwiches to the hot baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes flipping the sandwiches at mid point.
- Sprinkle sandwiches with icing sugar and serve immediately with extra jam on the side for dipping if desired.