Monte Cristo with Apple-Hatch Chile Jam

A more grown-up version of grilled cheese or the best ham and cheese sandwich ever, a Monte Cristo is easy to make at home – and it’s delicious! French toast gets an upgrade when you add some ham and Swiss cheese, dip it in egg batter and pan fry it in a bit of butter. It’s nostalgic, it’s comforting and it’s something you can make right now to use up that last little bit of ham. A perfect combination of sweet and savory, it’s right at home for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. Plus, it just sounds fancy and that’s what makes it all the more fun. 

For purists, the classic Monte Cristo comes with a dusting of powdered sugar and raspberry jam on the side for dipping; mustard and mayonnaise may be spread inside the bread. In this preparation, you’ll make a spicy-sweet apple and Hatch chile compote as a sidekick. I made the sandwiches with just the ham and cheese inside and served the chile jam alongside rather than using it inside the sandwiches as the recipe directs. The jam is easy to make and you can use any leftovers to glaze chicken or pork or serve it with cheese. 

You will have more than enough of the egg soak, so make a few extra sandwiches. Transfer cooked sandwiches to a cooling rack layered over a baking sheet and keep warm in a 250º F oven until ready to serve. Enjoy! 

Monte Cristo with Apple-Hatch Chile Jam


  • 1 green apple, peeled and cored, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 4-oz. can diced Hatch green chiles or other mild green chiles
  • 2 Tablespoons agave
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons water 


  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4 slices sturdy white bread
  • 4 ounces white cheddar or Swiss cheese, grated, or 4 thin slices
  • 4 slices ham
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Combine ingredients for jam in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook at a low simmer, about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Continue to cook, mashing apples with a spoon or potato masher until apples break down completely and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. 

Combine eggs, milk and salt in a wide, low dish. Whisk until well combined; set aside.

Make sandwiches: spread a heaping tablespoon of jam on all four slices of bread. On two of the slices sprinkle grated cheese, top each with 2 slices of ham, then sprinkle with more cheese and top with the other slices of bread. Compress sandwiches slightly.

In a large non-stick pan set over medium-high heat, warm butter and oil until butter melts. Working quickly, one sandwich at a time, dip each sandwich in the beaten egg, letting the bread soak for about 30 seconds; flip and repeat on other side. Add sandwiches to hot butter and oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, pressing down slightly, until sandwiches are brown and crisp. Transfer to cutting board and cut in half before serving.  

– Epicurious, February 2021 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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