Fruit Pocket French Toast
As you’ll soon figure out from many of my recipes, some of these delicacies aren’t exactly artery-friendly, and trust me…I am working on that. But some of my best recipes are collected over the course of many years, and this one I acquired thanks to my mother, many moons ago.
My mom is an avid reader and I remember the day she found this recipe. She was really into these murder/mystery/caterer-slash-detective (or something like that) novels at one point, and she stopped in the middle of this one book and looked at me and said, “Nicky, this recipe sounds SOOOOO good. We have GOT to try this.” I asked her to read it to me, and just the sound of the ingredients made my mouth water. We made it that very weekend.
The book was called The Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke.
This recipe must be made in advance. There is no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. There is no room for impatience with this one folks, I’m sorry. But trust me when I say that you will thank yourself immensely if you take the time to prepare this the evening before a big breakfast the following morning.
And without further ado, I give you….Fruit Pocket French Toast.
Fruit Pocket French Toast
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, 1/4 pound)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans (*optional….my husband hates nuts in our food, unfortunately for me :()
Loaf (at least 12 slices) of sliced bread (white, egg, raisin, whatever) – *(I use cinnamon raisin vanilla bread, but will probably be on the lookout for some good homemade bread recipes to use in this one)
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick, 1/4 pound)
2 cups canned or fresh fruit (any kind except melon or grapes) *(I have only tried this with Granny apples, but am DYING to try it with strawberries!)
8 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white (granulated) sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick, 1/4 pound)
Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar to sprinkle *(I’ve never used this because the outcome is already so rich)
1 Leave one stick of butter on the counter to soften it, or unwrap it and nuke it for a few seconds in the microwave.
2 If you’re using canned fruit, open it and dump it in a strainer now. *If using fresh fruit, prepare it now.
3 Heat a second stick of butter, the brown sugar, and the maple syrup in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 2 1/2 minutes or in a pan on the stove, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted.
4 Spray a 9×13-inch cake pan with Pam or other non-stick spray and pour the syrup mixture in the bottom. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans, if using.
5 Lay out the twelve slices of bread (you’re going to make fruit sandwiches). Spread softened butter on one slice of bread. Top it with well-drained fruit (*or fresh), cut into very thin slices (berries or pineapple can be crushed).
6 Spread softened butter on a second slice of bread and use it to cover the bread with fruit.
7 Cut fruit sandwich in half and place it in the pan on top of the syrup mixture. Make 5 more sandwiches, all cut in half, and put them in the pan. You can crown them a but, but do not overlap the bread.
8 Press the sandwiches down with a flat metal spatula. SQUISH THAT BREAD!!
9 Beat the eggs with the sugar and cinnamon.
10 Add the cream and the vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
11 Pour this mixture over the bread in the pan.
12 Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and let it stand out on the counter for a minimum of 20 minutes, or if making the night before for a fancy breakfast, refrigerate overnight. (*Again, I highly recommend doing the overnight thing…there’s nothing like waking up and just popping breakfast in the oven, all ready made).
13 Preheat oven to 350˚F, rack in center position.
14 Take off the plastic wrap/foil. Melt the third stick of butter and drizzle it over the top of the sandwiches.
15 Bake at 350˚F, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top has browned. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
16 Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
YIELD 12 half-sandwiches
**Pictures to come….eventually