Challah French Toast with Cranberry-Apple Compote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Always choose a firm-textured, flavorful bread for the best French toast. Slices of gold, egg-rich challah are a good choice because they soak up the batter yet retain their shape during cooking. The addition of maple syrup to the batter both flavors it and promotes browning.
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For the cranberry-apple compote:
- 2 apples, such as Granny Smith or Baldwin, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 slices fresh ginger, about 1/4 inch thick
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 8 slices day-old challah, each 3/4 inch thick, with crusts
Directions:To make the compote, in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the apples, cranberries, sugar, orange juice and ginger. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Serve the compote warm, or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. Or, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Pour the batter into a baking dish.
In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt half of the butter and continue to heat until it foams but does not brown.
Place 4 of the bread slices in the egg mixture and let stand for 5 seconds. Turn and let stand for 5 seconds more. Using tongs, lift the slices from the batter, letting any excess drip back into the baking dish, and transfer to the hot pan. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Using clean tongs, transfer the French toast to a warmed platter. Repeat with the remaining butter, batter and bread slices.
Serve immediately, accompanied by the cranberry-apple compote. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).
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