French toast has always been a favourite of mine when it comes to making brunch. However, it can often be quite a bit of effort if you are making french toast for everyone in the morning so I decided that I wanted to put a bit of a twist onto the classic, making it easier and more delicious.
Essentially, this is a baked french toast ‘casserole’ in that you assemble the whole thing into a square baking dish and put into the oven to cook for itself. It is also fig and nectarine season now and so, to contribute to the new guideline of seven fruits or vegetables a day, these were added.
Figs and nectarines are particularly nice when baked as it concentrates their flavour and both compliment french toast well, as it can be quite plain otherwise. Also, look at how beautiful these figs are, with their vibrant purple colour! They are definitely one of the best fruits around and, if you haven’t tried them already, you ought to do so now.
If you have ever made french toast before, you will know that the best thing to use is stale bread. For this, I used the remains of a baguette that had been sitting longingly at the back of the bread bin and it worked perfectly. The more dried out the bread, the better and this will ensure that it soaks up the egg and milk mixture to become beautifully fluffy.
So, how do you make it?
This recipe serves two, adapt to however much bread you have/people to serve.
You will need:
- A small (approx 20cm long) baguette, preferably stale.
- 2 medium sized free-range eggs.
- 3/4 cup semi-skimmed milk
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium-sized fig
- 1 medium-sized nectarine
- 1 tbsp butter, for greasing
- 1tbsp clear honey, for drizzling
- Greek-style yogurt, to serve
1) Preheat your oven to 200C. Cut your stale bread (brioche would also work beautifully, if you have some) into small rounds. Grease a square baking dish with butter and carefully lay out a single layer of your bread at the bottom.
2) Chop the nectarine into small chunks and layer on top of this layer of bread. Then, place another layer of the bread on top in a similar fashion, such that the nectarine is sandwiched between the two layers.
3) Crack the two eggs into a measuring jug and add around 3/4 cup of semi-skimmed milk. If you don’t have a measuring cup, fill the jug with milk up to the 300ml mark. Add the almond and vanilla extract for extra flavour, if desired. Whisk the eggs and milk together and pour over the bread.
4) Chop the fig into bite-sized pieces and layer on top of the french toast. Drizzle with honey and place into the oven to back for about 15-20 minutes, until golden and fluffy.
5) Leave to cool slightly before serving, as the inside will be very hot! Serve with some Greek-style yogurt and an extra drizzle of honey.