Newsflash: Going to out to an expensive weekend brunch with your girlfriends is so passé. Fall is all about cozying up at someone’s apartment, sipping homemade mimosas and kicking back—without having to worrying about disturbing the neighboring table with your (admittedly) loud giggles. This recipe is rich without being heavy, and will become a quick substitute for your been-there-done-that traditional French Toast.
Pears are an unexpected fruit for this time of year, but Bosc pears are actually in their peak season during winter. Try your best not to substitute—they have a texture that is perfect for cooking—not to mention they are packed with vitamin C and fiber. However, do feel free to switch out the Poire William; this liqueur can be hard to find. I actually used brandy (which you can often buy in the little nip bottles) mixed with juice from canned pears.
I only made one other change to the recipe, which will end up saving you (and your friends, of course), at least an extra mimosa-worth of calories: Skip the frying in oil and simply grease the pan well. You’ll still get that crispy, brown crust without the added fat, to which we say: Bottoms up!
Otherwise, follow the recipe as indicated (it is from Martha after all!) and serve warm with a side of loud-as-you-wanna-be gossip—if you can pull yourself away from the noshing, that is.
Pear – Stuffed French Toast: Adapted from Martha Stewart
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3 medium ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
• 1/4 cup Poire William liqueur (I substituted with brandy and canned pear juice)
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• Pinch of salt
• Zest of 1 orange
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1/2 loaf brioche or French baguette (A challah loaf would be equally as delicious)
• Vegetable oil, for frying (Can be skipped, just be sure to grease your frying pan generously)
• Maple syrup, optional
• Confectioners’ sugar, optional
1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pears and 1 tablespoon sugar, and cook until pears are tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet, and set aside. In a wide, deep dish, combine eggs, milk, orange juice, Poire William, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and zests. Beat with a fork until well blended.
2. Slice brioche into 1/4-inch thick slices. Dip slices into egg mixture until thoroughly moistened. (Be careful not to oversoak.) Remove to a plate. Cover half of the slices of soaked bread with sautéed pears; top with remaining slices of soaked bread to form sandwiches.
3. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with about 1/8 inch of vegetable oil. Place over medium-high heat until oil bubbles when a drop of water is added. Using a spatula, transfer pear sandwiches to oil, and cook until deep golden brown on one side. Flip, and continue cooking until deep golden brown and slightly puffy throughout. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar.