Cardamom French Toast with Maple-Pear Compote and Creme Fraiche

By • May 19, 2010 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I love the flavors of Scandinavian baking, and one of the dominant ones is cardamom. The idea to use cardamom bread for French toast occurred to my mother and me jointly when deciding what we should provide for breakfast for a crew of us the day after a very long Nordic ski race. This was the absolute perfect big, celebration breakfast. The addition of maple-pear compote was born out of my love of the combination of pears and cardamom. And as much as I adore whipped cream, I like to add creme fraiche to French toast instead to liven it up and not add more sweetness. I got the technique of putting the toast into the oven before serving from a friend. It seems to help in preventing cold or soggy toast, and allows you to serve it all at the same time. fiveandspice

Serves 4-6

Cardamom French Toast

  • 1 loaf Scandinavian-style cardamom bread (preferably homemade), sliced into ½ inch slices and allowed to dry over night
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • butter for cooking
  • creme fraiche and maple-pear compote (see below), for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom, until combined. Then, gradually whisk in the milk to make a pretty smooth batter. Pour into a pie pan or baking dish.
  2. Heat a Tablespoon or so of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat (or slightly lower). In the meantime, dip a couple of slices of bread in the batter for about 15 seconds on each side.
  3. Add the dipped slices to the hot frying pan, fitting in as many slices as you can while still leaving them space around each. Cook the bread slices until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, then remove to a cooling rack.
  4. Repeat the dipping and frying procedure until all of the bread is cooked, adding butter to the frying pan as needed.
  5. Place the entire cooling rack with toast slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, to rewarm, and prevent sogginess. To serve, divide French toast between plates and top each serving with maple-pear compote and a dollop of crème fraiche. Offer additional maple syrup, if desired.

Maple-Pear compote

  • 3 large pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. In a large pan, heat butter over medium until melted. Stir in maple syrup and lemon juice and allow to heat until starting to bubble around the edges.
  2. Add the pears, and gently stir to coat with syrup. Turn heat down to low, and simmer until pears are softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve, re-warm slightly if needed, and pour over French toast slices.

Tags: brunch, fancy, Scandinavian

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