French toast with roasted strawberries and tarragon cream

French toast, roasted strawberries and tarragon cream

Strawberries are not my favorite fruit, but they are the only reliable organic fruit that I can find on a weekly basis at my grocery store. I started roasting strawberries to incorporate into my little one’s baby food purees. They were so good; I became a little obsessed with them.  Roasting makes them softer and increases the flavor. The liquid releases from the fruit, creating an all-natural, bright red syrup and the fruit develops an intense “strawberry” flavor. Many more roasted strawberry recipes are in the works, like this delicious brioche French toast with tarragon cream.

I make French toast nearly every time I buy a loaf of French bread or brioche (which isn’t often enough). Here in Miami, I have to drive a bit to get good bread, so it’s a special occasion. We hardly ever get through the bread in the first day, so the rest gets turned into a delicious breakfast. I wouldn’t bother making French toast without really good, thick bread. That’s what makes it so special!

I’ve made a few versions of this dish over the years, mostly using whatever I have on hand at the time.  Try macerating the berries and using fresh whipped cream to make strawberry shortcake French toast.  Sandwiching two pieces of French toast with sweetened mascarpone or ricotta cheese gives you a cheese Danish flavor. I used tarragon in this recipe, but some substitutes could be chopped mint, basil or even freshly ground black pepper. There are many ways you could make the cream, too. For my version, I used ½ Greek yogurt and ½ mascarpone cheese, thinned with milk. You can use all yogurt for a healthier version, or all whipped cream for a more decadent breakfast. Use whatever goodies you have available at the time and your creativity to create your ultimate French toast.

French toast with roasted strawberries and tarragon cream

Yield: Serves 3

French toast with roasted strawberries and tarragon cream

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, cut in half or quarters
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 ½-¾ inch slices of day-old bread. If using French bread, slice at an angle
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • cinnamon
  • For the cream:
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
  • sugar, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Method

To make the strawberries:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the strawberries in a single layer in a roasting pan. Roast about 10 minutes, until the juice releases from the strawberries and thickens.

To make the French toast:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together whole milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and nutmeg and pour into a wide, shallow bowl. Place bread in the custard mixture in batches, leaving them to soak on each side 30 seconds. Remove bread from the custard and set aside.

Heat butter in pan on medium heat until it bubbles. Add the bread to the pan in batches, and cook until lightly browned on each side, 2-3 minutes. When all the pieces are finished, place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in the oven and cook until puffed, about 5-8 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, topped with confectioners sugar, strawberries and cream (recipe below)

To make the cream:

Mix yogurt, mascarpone cheese, tarragon and sugar. Add milk and mix until you see the desired consistency.

http://loveandduckfat.com/french-toast-with-roasted-strawberries-and-tarragon-cream/

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