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Enjoy lemon curd French toast for breakfast

Food For Thought
By Deborah Lee Walker | Apr 26, 2018

(April 27, 2018) It is implausible to deny the importance of education. That being said, one has to realize that progression is relative and depends on the individual.

Perseverance is a must for those who adore the art of entertaining. This inner drive manifests a desire for perfection. It is then, and only then, that recipes are transformed and take on a life of their own.

Do not be fooled by simplicity; it can be complexity in its most intricate state. Seeking the essence of every ingredient builds a foundation for flawless cookery.

Details determine the choices one makes when preparing a dish. These particulars are the intricate factors that bind purpose with point of view.

The more expertise one acquires, the more one has to pursue the realm of excellence. Individualism combined with confidence is the salt and pepper of cooking.

Culinary delights have risen to new levels of proficiency. One must challenge themselves if they desire to seek improvement. Nothing is ordinary and everything is extraordinary.

French toast is a popular brunch item that has graced tables worldwide. Despite its title, there is nothing inherently French about French toast. The basic recipe consists of soaking bread in an egg mixture and cook until a golden-brown crust develops. Add a little syrup and you have comfort food at its finest.

However, cooking French toast a few pieces at a time is no way to feed a table full of hungry diners. Sometimes answers come when you least expect it. I was browsing through the William Sonoma catalog and came upon a lemon curd French toast with strawberry compote recipe. My curiosity got the best part of me and I decided to check it out.

The recipe calls for a loaf of brioche bread. Brioche is a great choice because the bread is light and airy and a loaf is more than plenty for a group of famished guests.

I hemmed and hawed over the idea of the fruit compote served over the French toast. For those who are not familiar with fruit compote, it is simply fruit that has been preserved or cooked in syrup.

Keeping an open mind and willingness to try new ideas is the secret to success. I have in essence answered my own question; I will include the strawberry compote with the lemon curd French toast.

Store-bought or homemade whipped cream is the next question at hand. There is no doubt already prepared whipped cream saves time but homemade whipped cream is far superior. The choice is always open to interpretation, but why cut corners on the last step.

The season for unexpected company is rapidly approaching and special touches are always appreciated. Luscious lemon curd French toast, with fresh strawberry compote, and homemade whipped cream is as decadent as it gets.

Also, lemon curd French toast with strawberry compote would be perfect for Mother’s Day. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Curd French Toast with Strawberry Compote

Lemon Curd

3 lemons

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¼ pound unsalted butter, room temperature

4 extra-large eggs

½ cup lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

French Toast

4 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream

3 to 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 loaf brioche, cut into ¾-inch slices

Strawberry Compote

4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half

½ cup sugar

Topping

1 cup ricotta cheese

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

Garnish

fresh mint

1.  To make the lemon curd: Remove the zest of 3 lemons. Be careful not to zest the white part of the rind. Put the zest and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

2.  Cream the butter and beat in the sugar/lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

3.  Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened. Immediately strain and place in an ice bath. Stir until the curd is cool. Set aside.

4.  To make the French toast: Butter a large oval baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream and vanilla extract. Stir in cooled lemon curd. Arrange the bread slices evenly in the prepared baking dish, overlapping the slices slightly and pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow the French toast to rest for 15 minutes, then bake until golden-brown, about 45 minutes.

6.  Meanwhile, make the strawberry compote. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally until the berries start to break down and the liquid released by the berries thickens. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

7.  To make the topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the ricotta cheese, cream and sugar until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.

8.  Remove the French toast from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Top with strawberry compote and whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint and serve warm.

* This recipe is adapted from the William Sonoma Website

Secret Ingredient – Questions. “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

— Voltaire

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