I am not a sweet foods in the morning kind of person (not including my coffee). I love eggs with cheese and hot sauce and savory, salty things, like bacon, toast, omelets and home fries. One of the few sweet breakfast foods I enjoy is French toast.
When I was a kid, we only ever had wheat and whole grain breads in the house, which drove me crazy. I liked white bread, darnit, and I was embarrassed when my friends made fun of my darker sandwich slices. But on weekends when I had friends sleepover, we would have heaping breakfasts of scrambled eggs, bacon, and custardy french toast dusted with powdered sugar. My favorite topping was a dark, rich purple boysenberry syrup. The toast would be soft and delicious, with oats in the crust and nuts in the interior. I don't care if the origin of French toast, pain perdu, in meant to be made with stale baguettes. French toast is just plain better when made with oatnut breads.
When I stumbled upon a precious, small basket of fresh berries in the market last week, I knew right away that I had to make some jam or syrup so that we could enjoy this rare treat longer. I love making jam in summer with fresh fruits, but this spring treat sure hit the spot.
This syrup would be superb with sage, some cinnamon or chili powder, but that's your call. It takes maybe 15 minutes to make, and can be on its way while you prepare things for the French toast.
The incarnation of French toast below is not low fat. It is a delicious, special occasion treat that would be perfect to make for guests or someone you love on a Saturday morning.
French Toast with Fresh Blackberry Syrup
For the French Toast:
4-5 slices of oatnut bread, or your favorite bread, slightly stale
1/4 cup of cream
1/2 cup of milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
butter for cooking
For the Blackberry Syrup: (makes about 3 cups)
2 1/2 cup of fresh, rinsed blackberries, stems removed
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups water
1. Make the Syrup: In a small (you don't want too much surface area), non-reactive pot, put all of the ingredients for the syrup and turn the heat on to medium. Allow the sugar to melt and give it a good stir.
2. Bring to a steady bubble and allow to cook, making sure to stir the bottom, for 10 minutes. Feel free to go whip of the French toast dip, but keep ears and eyes alert. Jammy concoctions can occasionally foam up, and if you aren't watching, create an enormous mess of your once clean stove. You also don't want the bottom of your syrup to burn, as it'll stick to your pot for eons. You just want to evaporate some of the water, while also fully cooking and dissolving/softening the fruit. When it has thickened, turn off the heat and let it hang out while you cook some of the French toast.
3. Make the French Toast: In a small bowl (again, you don't want too much surface area) beat your eggs with the sugar , cinnamon, milk and cream. Really get it all in there. Cut your bread slices in half diagonally (in this case creating more surface area). Dip each slice into the egg-milk dip and allow it to become saturated.
4. Heat a nonstick pan of medium and add a small pat of butter to melt. I usually just swirl the stick around the pan quickly to ensure it's lightly coated. When the butter is slightly foamy, add two half (or one whole slice) of the bread to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side (adjusting for your particular stove top) until the bottom is cooked and has some lightly browned spots. Flip and repeat.
5. If you're my dad, you'll have a small baking sheet in a low oven ready to accept the cooked slices of French toast to keep warm. If you're me, you'll have two plate at the ready by the stove, and you'll divide each batch between the two until you're done cooking them.
6. Strain the Syrup: Warm your intended syrup dispenser on the outside with some hot water from the tap. Set a fine mesh strainer (I use a tea strainer) over the top of it and slowly pour your syrup through, using a spoon to squish out excess juice from the pulp. I personally enjoy the pulp, so I really squish the pulp in the strainer trying to only retain the seeds from the final syrup.
Drizzle your French toast with the Blackberry syrup and maybe some of the fresh fruits, dust with a little powdered sugar and enjoy alongside some softly scrambled eggs and crsip bacon!