Healthy & Hearty French Toast
“Challah makes a great French toast, but the old hippie in me always tends towards whole grains,” says Amy Cotler, author of The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food. “The recipe developed because I had guests coming and I wanted to serve a festive breakfast with what I had on hand—nutty whole wheat bread, local eggs, maple syrup, apples, cider, milk and regional cranberries. You can use any type of whole grain bread you like. I’m not picky about it. It makes a denser meal than white bread, and that’s the story of whole grains!”
Fruity Whole Grain French Toast
2 - 3 servings, easily doubled
1 large egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup milk
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter, or more if needed
about 1 tablespoon sugar
about 1 teaspoon cinnamon
about 3 tablespoons of apple cider
1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh cranberries
confectioner’s sugar, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and place a large ovenproof plate or small platter inside.
2. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a plate with a lip (or shallow bowl). Pour half of the mixture into a second plate. Soak a slice of bread in each plate, turn. Then repeat with the second two slices of bread until all four slices are well coated.
3. Melt the butter in a skillet large enough for all four pieces over a medium-high heat. (Work in batches if you don’t have a large pan.) When the skillet is hot, use a metal spatula to carefully add the bread. Sprinkle the top of the slices evenly with about half of the sugar and cinnamon. When the first side is well browned and crisp, 2-3 minutes, turn, and cook the other side, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and cinnamon and cook, until it is well browned, crispy, and firm, about 2 minutes more. (If you are working in batches, repeat with the second 2 slices of bread.)
4. Remove the French toast to a platter in the oven, cutting it in half and overlapping it if you wish.
5. Add cider, maple syrup and apples to the skillet. Boil until the liquid is reduced to about half. Remove all but 1 - 2 tablespoons of the liquid to a small bowl and place in the oven. Add the cranberries and cook shaking the pan, until they are coated with syrup and start to pop, about 1 minute. (Taste one, if it isn’t sweet enough on the outside, add a little more syrup.)
6. Remove French toast from the oven. Pour the maple-apple sauce down the center or around the sides. Sprinkle with the candied cranberries. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, if you like.