Serves a Crowd

Vive Le French Toast!

May 17, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Here’s my version of French toast with some lovely sautéed pears and a custard using Pernod (very French, oui?) and some other boozy flavors, inspired by my Ugly But Good cookie, with almonds, orange zest and anise seed. I’m not crazy about zest in my custard, so I opted for orange liqueur instead. And I’m starting to like Pernod. Initially, I hated it, but I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that I chugged it down like a shot of tequila. Don’t do that. - mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

Magnifique! Mrslarkins French toast was truly a treat! We had a breakfast for dinner tonight and this was the star. Pernod was only available in large bottles at the liquor store so I thought absinthe would be a good fill-in. The recipe is very simple, you can do other things in the kitchen as you are getting ready, which is always nice with breakfast foods. The French toast came out creamy, custard-like and delicious -- some of the best that my dining companions and I have ever had. The warm pears added a subtle sweetness and the absinthe gave it a bit of a bite which complemented the toast perfectly. I think the next time around I might throw an extra pear in to have some more to put on top. This is definitely a great brunch -- or dinner - There'sAlwaysPie —There'sAlwaysPie

What You'll Need
  • For the sautéed pears
  • 2 large pears, not too ripe, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pernod
  • For the French toast
  • 6 slices Challah bread, cut 1” thick, left out for several hours to harden slightly
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or substitute half and half or milk)
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto, or other almond-flavored liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra
  1. For the sautéed pears
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium/low heat.
  3. Add pears and cook for about 10 minutes or until pears soften slightly and begin to caramelize just a bit.
  4. Add sugar and stir together.
  5. Add Pernod and stir together. Mixture will thicken a bit. Remove from pan and set aside. And don’t wash your pan yet…you’ll use it again in a little while.
  1. For the French toast
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream, eggs, salt, vanilla, liqueurs, and sugar. With a fork or a whisk, mix well.
  3. Lay bread slices in a casserole dish and pour custard over. Let soak for about 20 minutes, carefully flipping bread with a spatula every 5 minutes or so.
  4. In the same pan that you cooked your fruit in, melt butter over medium heat, and swirl around the pan.
  5. Carefully transfer the bread slices to the hot butter. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Cook for about 10 minutes per side. You’re looking for a lovely golden-brown toasty color on the cooked side. Turn the heat down a bit if bread is browning too quickly. If pan is looking dry, add a few small pats of butter to the pan here and there. Let the butter melt, then flip your toast, and cook for about another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove French toast to warm serving plates and spoon sautéed pears over. Serve with maple syrup and/or a little cream. A dollop of crème fraiche would definitely gild this fleur-de-lis.
  7. Bon appétit!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • SallyCan
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • ShowFoodChef
  • testkitchenette

18 Reviews

happycao December 7, 2010
ooo... i don't know Pernod is... but I think if I substitute it with St. Germaine, this recipe would make such a nice Sunday brunch.
mrslarkin December 7, 2010
yes! that might work nicely, with it's herb-y and floral notes.
Oui, C. May 23, 2010
I've done a bourbon maple syrup to booze-up french toast before, but love the idea of Pernod....very French indeed! Love the addition of pears too.
mrslarkin May 23, 2010
Thanks, Chef! Will have to try the bourbon/maple syrup idea! That sounds real goood!
SallyCan May 20, 2010
Wow! This looks great. I like the idea of using Pernod, with its herbal notes, against all of the sweet flavors.
mrslarkin May 20, 2010
Thanks, SallyCan. Yeah, the Pernod flavor is very complimentary and subtle - doesn't hit you over the head like drinking it straight out of the bottle would do. ;-)
coffeefoodwrite May 18, 2010
Wow! this looks interesting delicious...what a great combo of flavors...
mrslarkin May 18, 2010
Thanks, CFWG! So glad you think so.
ShowFoodChef May 17, 2010
New to this, but love the friends already! I also liked the "shot" line and I particularly feel like I can taste that glistening sweetness.
mrslarkin May 18, 2010
Thanks so much, SFC! And welcome aboard!
testkitchenette May 17, 2010
Booze and it!
mrslarkin May 17, 2010
Yeah, TK!!
mrslarkin May 17, 2010
Thank you, Liz! I like to use apples, too, but the pears are especially nice with these flavors.
dymnyno May 17, 2010
What a delicious looking photo! It really sounds like "honest" french toast.
mrslarkin May 17, 2010
Thanks, dymnyno!!
aargersi May 17, 2010
This looks wonderful - and this statement made me about snort water out my nose "I chugged it down like a shot of tequila. Don’t do that."
mrslarkin May 17, 2010
Thanks aargersi! Sorry 'bout the water out the nose. Hate when that happens. ;-)
Lizthechef May 17, 2010
You are tres brave to use Pernod...Recipe looks beautiful - pears, such a nice touch!