This is one of my husbands' favorite breakfast dishes. I discovered the zing of the lemon brought such an unexpected brightness to the dish after trying it the first time, that it's now my standard. I've also substituted orange zest and juice in place of the lemon with great results as well. Servings: 3 to 6 ingredients: one 1 to 1 ½ lb. Loaf cinnamon swirl bread, challah bread, or your favorite artisan loaf – sliced into 1-inch thick pieces and set out to dry (can be done the night before.)
6 extra large eggs
½ cup heavy cream (can substitute half & half)
1 lemon – zested and juiced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (chinese cassia, or vietnamese is best)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
unsalted butter for griddle
* custard is best when rested in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. It can also be prepared the night before and refrigerated overnight.
For spicy pecan bourbon syrup:
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup bourbon (use your favorite brand)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
No nutrition information available
For custard: Combine all ingredients, (eggs through ground cardamom) except the unsalted butter for the griddle, and whisk thoroughly until the custard is completely combined.
Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and as long as overnight.
To prepare french toast: Pre-heat electric griddle to 350 degrees. You will also want to pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Place a sheet pan with a rack in the oven to pre-heat while you are toasting the bread on the griddle.
Pour the custard into a baking dish, or sheet pan large enough to lay out the bread in a single layer. Add the bread slices, and let soak on the first side for 1-2 minutes. Turn the bread to coat the second side, also making sure to coat the sides of each slice, and let soak for an additional minute or until the remainder of the custard is absorbed into the bread.
Liberally grease the hot griddle with unsalted butter (approximately 1-2 tablespoons) place the soaked bread slices on the hot griddle and let cook until toasted to a golden brown color. Turn and repeat on the second side. When bread is the desired color, remove to the pre-heated rack in the oven. Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, or until the center of the bread is slightly firm and bounces back when gently pressed with your finger. (no indentation should remain in the toast where you pressed on it.) You will notice the center of the slices will puff slightly as they bake.
Prepare the spicy pecan bourbon syrup while the toast bakes in the oven.
Directions for syrup: Toast the pecans in a sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until you can just start to smell the nuts. Add the next 7 ingredients (unsalted butter through cayenne pepper); cook until syrupy, about 3 – 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat once it has reached a syrupy consistency and stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Return the pan to the heat, for 1 or 2 minutes, or until the bourbon smell cooks off. Keep warm until ready to spoon over the french toast.
To plate, place 1-2 pieces of toast on plate, and spoon the warm, spicy pecan bourbon syrup over the toast and serve immediately