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For Mother's Day, Rach makes her mom a platter of french toast spiked with bourbon and vanilla and served with a side of bacon for the perfect mix of salty 'n' sweet.
"French toast—pain perdu, 'lost bread' or bread that has lost to stale—is really just cooking bread in custard," Rach says. "A thin piece of bread is going to need a short soak. A thicker, stale piece of bread is going to need a longer soak and a longer cook time. Serve with bacon (bake at 375˚F for 18 minutes to crisp on slotted pan) or fresh berries or sliced ham or all three!"
If you want to add a give your french toast a bit more complex flavor, try adding a pinch of ground ginger and/or grated orange zest to your custard.
- 4 eggs
- About 1 ½ tablespoons superfine sugar or a drizzle of honey
- 1 cup cream or half-and-half
- 1 ½ ounces bourbon
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (omit if using cinnamon bread)
- Pinch salt
- Maple syrup
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 8 slices brioche, white or cinnamon bread or stale French bread
- Bacon and/or ham, for serving
Preheat a nonstick or cast iron griddle over medium-low heat.
Whisk up the custard: eggs, sugar or honey, cream or half-and-half, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
Warm maple syrup on a stove. Use good-quality maple syrup and add a cinnamon stick, if you like.
Brush griddle with butter and soak and turn bread in custard and cook in 2 batches slowly, until deeply golden and fragrant and cooked through.
Cut toast corner to corner and line up triangles of toast down the center of the plate, layered with bacon or ham or both and topped with berries, coat with more melted butter and serve with warm syrup.