Happy New Year! My husband made french toast for dessert on Christmas this year and it was so good that we decided to have it again for breakfast on New Years Day.
French toast feels very decadent, but is really a way to use up stale bread. I’ve been making the gluten-free sourdough boule recipe from Canelle et Vanille. The recipe makes two loaves, which is a lot bread for our two person household.
You can caramelize perfectly plump and ripe figs if you have them, but this recipe will also work with those few sad and slightly under ripe figs that are always in any pint. I think there is some other way to caramelize the fruit that is technically more correct. I’m just writing it up as I improvised it. The caramel is quite dark and actually gets a bit crunchy when it cools. I like it like that, but if you have some other way to do it that you prefer, go for it. Don’t skip the powdered sugar. Somehow the powdered sugar is the best part.
For the French Toast
- Four slices of good, slighly stale sourdough bread (about 3/4 inch thick).
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- butter for cooking
- Whisk together the cream, egg, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a large shallow bowl.
- Soak the bread in the liquid. My husband suggests that, if your bread is very crusty, you should let the crust side of the bread soak for a few minutes before soaking the cut edges. Don’t rush this step. The bread should be fully saturated, like a wet sponge. There is always a bit of liquid left that you can’t force into the bread. If your bread was able to soak all of it up, it probably needs another splash or two of cream to be fully engorged.
- Melt the butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Fry the bread on each side until it is golden brown. Keep them warm in a low oven while you make the topping
For the topping
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 8 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise
- The arils from half of of a pomegranate
- powdered sugar for topping
- Sprinkle the sugar in a dry skillet wide enough to hold all of your figs in a single layer. Turn the heat to medium high and watch the skillet closely. The sugar will begin to melt. Don’t stir it. Just let it do its thing. As patches of sugar melt, place figs cut side down in the liquid sugar. By the time you get them all down, the sugar should be starting to turn golden. You can move the figs around a bit if your pan is caramelizing unevenly. Once it is a nice medium golden color, turn the heat off.
- Sift powdered sugar over the French toast. Don’t be shy. They should be thoroughly coated. Top with heaps of the caramelized figs and as much caramel as you can lift out of the pan. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and serve!