Croque Monsieur with Apricot Glazed Bacon

makes 4 sandwiches


1 loaf (16 oz.) bread, sliced into 8 even slices
12 oz. thick cut bacon
5 Tbs. Darbo apricot fruit spread, divided
½ tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. water
¼ tsp. Darbo acacia honey
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
4 Tbs. butter, room temperature
4 Tbs. all purpose flour
1.5 cups whole milk, room temperature
10 oz. Gruyere, grated

makes 4 sandwiches


Toast each slice of bread until lightly golden and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the bacon on a rack and place the rack on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. While the bacon is cooking, mix the glaze. Combine 1.5 Tbs of the apricot fruit spread with the soy sauce, water, honey, and ground ginger and stir to combine. Remove the bacon from the oven and brush each piece with the glaze. Bake for 5 minutes, flip each piece, and glaze again. Continue cooking for 5 minutes on each side until you reach your desired texture. Set aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour until a smooth paste forms. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the pan from the heat and add salt and black pepper to taste. 

Spread the remaining apricot fruit spread on 4 slices of bread. Spread about a tablespoon of bechamel over the fruit spread and lay each slice on a baking sheet with the bechamel side facing up. Top each piece with bacon and Gruyere. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the Gruyere. Spoon the remaining bechamel sauce over the top of each slice and sprinkle with Gruyere. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and bubble.

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