Do you really need a National French Toast Day — pssst, it’s November 28 if you do — to have a very special breakfast or brunch?
How long have people been telling you to eat a good breakfast for a good start to your day?
We’d love to bop over to the Sawmill Market in Albuquerque for a good breakfast at the Mercantile Café, but for the time being we’ll settle for some of their scrumptious French toast made at home.
Sawmill Market is an artisanal food court and the café offers “locally sourced food with a seasonally driven menu, where quality ingredients are prepared simply and traditionally in our beautiful wood-burning oven.” It also features a market space featuring the wares of New Mexico farmers and other merchants.
Stuffed French Toast With Vanilla Bean Ricotta Cheese, Peaches, and Maple Syrup
Courtesy Mercantile Café
Ricotta Stuffed French Toast
1 brioche loaf, each slice cut to 1.25 inches thick
349 grams ricotta
Crème anglaise as needed (recipe below)
Roasted peaches as needed (recipe below)
1 teaspoon powdered sugar per slice
1 ounce maple syrup per slice
Sweet Ricotta Filling
300 grams ricotta cheese
Vanilla bean, 1 each
48 grams light agave
Slice the bread to 1.25 inch-thick slices. Create a “pocket” by cutting slices halfway but not all the way through.
In a mixing bowl, place everything for the sweet ricotta filling together and mix well and set aside. Stuff the toast with the ricotta mix and pour the crème anglaise over the brioche until completely submerged. Let sit for 2 hours.
Place a nonstick pan on the heat, add butter, and place the toast in the pan. Pan-fry until golden brown on one side, and then flip to the other side and place in the oven for 7 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
Cut in half, top with roasted peaches and glaze, and sprinkle with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
990 grams milk
270 grams cream
2 tablespoons vanilla paste
360 grams sugar
300 grams egg yolks
Place milk, cream, and vanilla paste together in a pot and heat on medium until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg yolk, and whisk until it’s all combined. Temper the egg yolk mix with the milk; add in the milk mixture slowly so the eggs don’t scramble.
Place the mixture over heat, and stir until you reach a sauce consistency.
374 grams peaches
2 grams vanilla paste
62 grams light agave
10 grams balsamic glaze
1 tablespoon butter
Place everything in a mixing bowl and let marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat a pan up and add the butter. Place the peaches in the pan and roast them until tender.
Save the sauce from the peaches — do not over-reduce.
Pumpkin French Toast Battered Pumpkin Bread with Bourbon Cranberry Maple Syrup and Sweet Mascarpone Cream Topped with Toasted Walnuts
Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse in Castle Rock, Colorado, is sharing its recipe for another Thanksgiving brunch treat. One of their everyday brunch menu items, this Pumpkin French Toast features pumpkin-battered Texas toast, house-made cranberry maple syrup, sweet mascarpone cream, and toasted walnuts.
Makes 4 servings
12 slices pumpkin bread
1 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
8 large eggs, cracked and beaten
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons amaretto
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cranberry Maple Syrup
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup your favorite bourbon
2 cups your favorite pancake syrup
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces mascarpone
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Batter: Combine amaretto and cinnamon. Stir into eggs and half and half.
Cranberry Maple Syrup: In a small pot or large sauté pan, combine bourbon and cranberries and reduce by half or until cranberries have soaked up most of the bourbon. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat. Take off the heat.
Whipped mascarpone: Whisk all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
Pumpkin French Toast: Preheat a griddle pan over two burners on medium heat. Gently dunk each slice of pumpkin bread into the batter and set aside. Once all the bread is done, place on griddle and cook on each side until golden brown, similar to a grilled cheese sandwich. Take off the heat. Place 3 slices on each plate and top with cranberry maple syrup, whipped mascarpone, and toasted walnuts.
A Word About Maple Syrup
Don’t ruin your stuffed French toast by pouring on just any old maple syrup that might not even have true maple syrup in it. Go for the good stuff! We’re loving Maple Craft Syrup — made by Maple Craft Foods in Sandy Hook, Connecticut — for their delicious line of different flavors of topnotch maple syrup. And we’re also loving them for the spirit of the banner headline on their website: “Free family breakfast kits donated to food bank with each $50 purchase. Food insecurity is real.”
If you’re tempted to load up your shopping cart, syrup flavors include elderberry, salted caramel, gingerbread, honey bourbon barrel-aged, bourbon barrel, apple cinnamon, blueberry, ginger, and pumpkin spice.
If pancakes are your jam and you want to keep those good breakfasts coming, Maple Craft Syrup has some great recipes on their website. Their Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes sound and look crazy-good. They also have eye-glazing recipes that look killer for Thanksgiving: See Honey Maple Glazed Baby Carrots and Maple Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts.
The company was started by the Ackert family in Connecticut in 2014. Harvesting maple sap from trees at family homes in Connecticut and Vermont since 2001, the Ackerts loved maple syrup and wanted their kids to develop a healthy connection with natural food and where it comes from. After the tragedy in their community of Sandy Hook, they were determined to reprioritize how they spent their time and energy.
Their mission to “Make Life Sweet” for everyone isn’t possible, they say, “unless everyone can first feel safe, secure, and equal.” At Maple Craft Foods, they measure success by how much they give back and drive positive change.
They still tap their own trees, but they also use high quality organic maple syrup supplied by friends who slow boil it traditionally over an open flame on a farm in Vermont.
Photography: Images courtesy Doug Merriam