Pumpkin French Toast
by Priscilla Martel
Big Food feels our love for pumpkin pie; Trader Joe’s is stocking more than 35 products with those flavors this season. Here’s the real thing in the form of French toast. The soaking custard, made with canned pumpkin, is rather thick. Give the bread enough time to absorb the mixture. I prefer to pan fry French toast but it can be baked instead. Either way, serve it with maple syrup and smoky bacon.
Yield: 6 Servings
1 ¼ cups light cream, half and half or whole milk
¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup canned pumpkin purée, unsweetened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 slices country-style toasting bread or challah sliced ½-inch thick
4 to 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, more if needed
Golden raisins, as needed for garnish
Powdered sugar as needed for dusting
- Whisk the light cream and sugar into the pumpkin purée. Add the spices and salt then whisk in the eggs until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow pan large enough to hold the bread in one or two layers. Soak the bread for 20 minutes or longer turning the slices from time to time until the custard is absorbed into each slice. (You can scrape up any excess liquid and spoon it back onto the slices until it is all absorbed.)
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Melt a couple of tablespoons of the butter in the pan. When it stops sizzling, put two or more slices of the soaked bread in the pan. Cook until evenly browned, approximately 4 to 5 minutes then flip and cook on the other side.
- Dust the slices with powdered sugar then serve immediately or keep the French toast warm in a 250°F oven. Scatter the French toast with golden raisins.
Oven Baked Version:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Generously grease a baking sheet with the butter. Drain each slice of soaked bread then place them on the prepared pan. Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Flip over each slice then bake for another 5 to 8 minutes until the French toast slices are nicely browned.