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Cherry French Toast With Maple Creme Fraische

This recipe is so easy to make that (once you pit the cherries, which I admit is a pain) you can whip it up inside of 20 minutes. Yet, it's elegant, and oh so good! A must-try for a special Sunday morning with special someone(s).

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Servings: 4

Prep Time: 00:20

Cook Time: 00:20

Main Ingredients

1 Slices challah bread (about - inch thick)

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 - 1/4 cups milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or substitute extract)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

pinch of nutmeg

- -

cinnamon & sugar topping:

3 tablespoons sugar

5 . tablespoon cinnamon

- -

fresh cherry topping:

4 cups fresh sweet cherries

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

4 teaspoons cornstarch

4 teaspoons cold water

1 - 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

- -

2 oz. creme fraische, store bought with tablespoons maple syrup mixed in (or to taste). or better yet, homemade maple creme fraische

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sliced almonds, lightly toasted

extra maple syrup to drizzle on plates

Preparation

1Slice loaf of Challah bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a lightly greased 10x15 baking pan. If they are snug, that's okay.

2In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, syrup, sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla paste, almond extract, salt and nutmeg. Pour over bread; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes; turn to coat to make sure all liquids are soaked up. Pour any excess liquid out to prevent soggy french toast (or transfer slices to another greased 10x15 baking pan).

3Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on tops of bread slices. Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

4Add sliced almonds to a small skillet and heat on medium heat until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally so they don't burn.

5Meanwhile, in another large bowl, combine the cherries, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir in the reserved cherry mixture. Bring to a boil, stir frequently and cook for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, add almond extract and stir to combine.

6In another small bowl, add creme fraische and maple syrup and stir lightly to combine.

7Remove french toast from oven; if soggy or overly soft to the touch, continue cooking for a few more minutes. If the tops are already golden brown but texture still feels too soft/wet, turn over each slice and put pan back in oven for a few more minutes.

8Plate 2 pieces of french toast on each plate, overlapping one on top of the other so the top slice touches plate but still drapes over the bottom slice. Drizzle cherry sauce over the french toast and add a small dollop of maple creme fraiche on top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, drizzle plate with some extra maple syrup, and serve.

9Yield: 4 servings.

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