Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

So it’s been just shy of a month since my last post.  I’ll skip the excuses and try to make up for it by getting straight to the recipe.  The recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbook Vegan Brunch and can be found on her website here.  It’s so wonderfully delicious, I’ve made it twice within the last month.  And if you think December is too late for pumpkin, I say phooey.  You must get over it and make some french toast.  I like my pumpkin with a little extra spice, so I used fresh ginger and some freshly grated nutmeg (my amendments are italicized).  Serve with cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving throw back or with some Earth Balance and good ol’ fashioned maple syrup.

Served with cranberry sauce for a post-Thanksgiving brunch

Pumpkin French Toast
1 cup pureed pumpkin (from a can is just fine)
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
**1 1/2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
**1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stale Baguette, sliced diagonally in 1 inch pieces (see tip), or 8 pieces thick sliced bread
Cooking oil for the pan

Mix together all ingredients (except for the bread, obvioulsy). Spread out baguette slices on a rimmed baking pan in a single layer. Pour on pumpkin mixture and flip to coat. Let sit for 20 minutes, then flip over and soak for 10 minutes more.
Preaheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat (I use cast iron). Spray with cooking oil, or drizzle a little into the pan, and cook about half of the soaked breads at a time for 5 to 7 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other. They should be golden to medium brown and flecked with darker spots. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil while you cook the second batch.
If not serving immediately, cover and place in a 200 degree oven for up to an hour. Serve with maple syrup and earth balance, of course.
Tip: These french toast recipes call for stale bread because it’s going to be soaking up custard, but you still want the bread to hold its shape. Fresh bread will get mushy and, worst case scenario, fall apart. A 3 day old loaf should be just fine and 5 days old might be too late (make it into breadcrumbs instead.) If you have only a fresh baguette, you can cut the slices and then put them in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until they are hardened a bit but not toasted. Then proceed with the recipe.